Auckland Allied Health workers vote for strike action

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Auckland’s District Health Boards face significant disruption next month after allied health workers voted in favour of industrial action.

Public Service Association members will hold three city-wide strikes in April after negotiations over a new collective contract stalled.

The contract covers more than 3000 workers in a wide range of services including anaesthetic technicians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, mental health workers and occupational therapists.

In the event of an emergency members will be the first to say they want to return to work, and the PSA will work with DHBs to provide life-preserving services.

PSA board member Andy Colwell says members are reluctant to take action.

"I work in mental health services and I know I speak for all our members when we say we’re dedicated to our jobs and our patients.

"We want to deliver quality care every day - but the DHBs’ proposals to cut our pay and conditions while not addressing our concerns about workloads and resourcing leave us no choice".

PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk is urging DHBs to listen, and return to the table with an offer that addresses the union’s concerns.

"Analysis from the Council of Trade Unions has revealed a $1.7 billion funding gap in health.

"Now we hear DHBs don’t have enough money to pay staff their promised salary increase.

"We urge the Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman to front up - and tell us how he plans to address the crisis in his portfolio."