Health workers threaten industrial action if pay talks fail

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Sixteen thousand health workers are threatening industrial action across the country unless they get a "decent pay rise".

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Source: 1 NEWS

The Public Service Association (PSA) is in talks today with DHB Shared Services, which represents District Health Boards and a number of other health agencies. They are re-negotiating three multi-employer collective agreements.

Those agreements cover more than 40 occupations, including physiotherapists, nurses, clerical staff, anaesthetic technicians and dieticians.

PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk told ONE News union members last year "reluctantly" settled on a 0.7% pay increase.

She says that offer should never have been put on the table and this time the union won't be so quick to sign a deal.

"Members are going to be expecting a lot more in terms of a pay increase and we expect that (Health Minister) Jonathan Coleman and (Finance Minister) Bill English should be budgeting for an increase in the health sector," she says.

The union would not discuss the specifics of what they're asking for ahead of negotiations but say there will be industrial action if workers aren't properly compensated.

"The Government needs to fund health services and that includes the people who deliver on health services and I think New Zealanders deserve that as well," Ms Polaczuk says.

The negotiations are expected to take months to complete.

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