New DHB offer sees health workers postpone strike action

Source: 1News

The allied health workers fighting for better pay and work conditions are pausing their strike action in light of a new DHB offer on Tuesday.

Allied health workers are striking around the country.

The Public Services Association union, which represents 10,000 allied, public health, scientific and technical professionals who work in DHBs, said they would be recommending that its members vote in favour of the new offer.

Members would see the offer Wednesday afternoon, the PSA said.

Hawke's Bay DHB chief executive Keriana Brooking, speaking on behalf of DHBs on the matter, said DHBs were "pleased" they had been able to agree on a proposed settlement with the PSA.

"We will not discuss any details of the offer while PSA members are considering it," Brooking said.

Last month, the PSA's members voted to take strike action throughout May.

They said this was due to waiting a year and a half for DHBs to make "a decent offer" to settle collective agreements.

Staff held a strike for 24 hours on May 16. Those picketing on that day told 1News that despite having high qualifications, workers were only earning just above minimum wage. Others said they would earn more working in the same role in Australia.

Union members said at the time they would be taking further industrial action and strikes if DHBs didn't come up with a better offer.

Brooking said in May that the strikes were preventable "as a comprehensive pay offer presented to the PSA… was rejected without being put to members for consideration”.

PSA organiser Caz Thomson said at the time the offer didn't keep to the recommendations made by an independent facilitator. Other workers said the earlier offer was “below par” and “absolutely disgraceful”.

PSA attempted to take strike action in March but failed after the Employment Court upheld an injunction filed by DHBs.