Waikato DHB continuing "culture of mistrust" with union

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Union delegates at the Waikato District Health board are furious at being told their pay will be docked if they attend a meeting today, the PSA says.

Delegates from the DHB’s clerical staff meet today to consider an offer for a new collective employment agreement, but the DHB says it will not pay them for the time they’re at the meeting.

This is despite plenty of advance warning, as agreed by the DHB and the PSA when the bargaining process began.

"We are disappointed at the DHB’s behaviour, but not at all surprised," PSA organiser Daryl Gatenby says.

"It’s an all-too-familiar approach from the DHB’s management, where there seems to be a culture of mistrust about anything to do with unions.

"The recent report into mental health services at the DHB by Dr John Crawshaw called the relationship between unions and the DHB ‘challenging’.

"Dr Crawshaw suggested the DHB should aim for a more respectful and more collaborative approach to dealing with unions, but nothing’s changed."

Clerical workers are among the lowest-paid staff in hospitals, but Mr Gatenby says they play a crucial role in keeping the hospital running smoothly.