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Striking junior docs want paid days off

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/10/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">Junior doctors want to be paid for days off under a proposed agreement that has led to planned strike action later this month, according to DHBs.</span> © Getty Junior doctors want to be paid for days off under a proposed agreement that has led to planned strike action later this month, according to DHBs. Junior doctors want an extra two days off, but they want to be paid for them as they make plans to strike over what they see as unfair and unsafe rosters.

All 20 District Health Boards are expected to be affected after the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association announced a 48-hour strike starting at 7am on October 18.

Senior doctors and non-unionised staff are expected to fill the places left by the 3200 union doctors.

"We have yet to see sufficient real change in the system after four years of engagement and 10 months of bargaining," the union's national secretary Deborah Powell said.

As well as reducing the number of consecutive night shifts from seven to four, the union wants overall consecutive days worked reduced from 12 to 10.

But DHB spokeswoman Julie Patterson revealed junior doctors still wanted to be paid for those extra two days off.

"We're not willing to accept a claim that involves an enormous amount more cost, including the RMO's (resident medical officers) being paid for days they're not even working," she told TVNZ.

She has also rejected a survey released by the union claiming doctors are making mistakes at work and falling asleep while driving home, saying the DHBs have been unable to verify the claims.

The union's survey claims 1162 junior doctors have made clinical mistakes because of fatigue and 275 have fallen asleep while driving home.

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