Members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) working at Rosebank Home and Hospital in Ashburton will be striking for 24 hours from 6.45am on Friday 13th March.
Members have been attempting to renegotiate their collective agreement since August 2008. The employer made an initial offer of an increase of 1.2% to wages in exchange for staff agreeing to a reduction in staffing levels. The employer has received funding from the District Health Board to increase wages by 2.8%. Members refused to accept this offer as they are not prepared to compromise the care of residents, which is what the consequence of fewer staff would mean. The employer has now retracted this offer and is offering a zero increase to staff.
“Rosebank workers have not made the decision to strike lightly. Members at this worksite have never taken strike action before. They feel that they have no other option open to them,” NZNO organiser Lynley Mulrine said.
“The employer has also taken the unusual step of refusing to attend Department of Labour mediation. This process is open to employers and unions to assist in resolving the issues between them to avoid industrial action,” NZNO organiser Lynley Mulrine said.
Members will be picketing outside Rosebank Home and Hospital from 6.45am throughout the day.