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Junior doctors' negotiations stall

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/10/2016

Negotiations over the bid by junior doctors for changes to work rosters they deem unsafe have adjourned with their union reporting no real progress.

About 3000 members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association went on a 48-hour strike last week in support of their campaign.

The union and the district health boards got back around the table on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately bargaining between NZRDA and the DHBs did not go well today," the union said.

National secretary Dr Deborah Powell says the association presented an alternative proposal, but the DHBs' team adjourned for further discussion with their chief executives.

"There is no genuine negotiation with us going on at the table," she said.

Dr Powell said the NZRDA proposed a settlement that took into account employer concern that doctors should not be paid for days off as a result of reducing the stretch of consecutive days worked from 12 to 10.

The proposal retained doctor's penal components from their salary, which compensate them for working the unsocial hours.

"Under the safer hours proposal from NZRDA, resident doctors will continue to work all the nights and weekends they always have, simply in shorter blocks of consecutive days," Dr Powell said.

"NZRDA has proposed taking the penal component out of our salary as it is currently paid and specifically reapply that to the weekends."

She said the DHBs' proposal to remove the penal rates would result in an average resident medical officer taking a pay cut of at least $20,000 a year.

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