Lakes DHB ‘very disappointed’ by APEX’s claims
7/02/2019 9:14:34 a.m.

Thursday 7 February 2019

Lakes DHB ‘very disappointed’ by APEX’s claims

Lakes DHB is very disappointed that it’s been unable to settle pay talks with its anaesthetic technicians covered by the APEX union, who plan to strike for five days from 18-23 February.

Acting Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says all elective or scheduled surgery at Rotorua Hospital will have to be postponed during the strike.

He says the union’s claim that Lakes DHB is refusing to bargain on salary is completely inaccurate and says the DHB made its best offer in line with what the union had requested in communications with the DHB team on salary increases.

“The union is now demanding that what was agreed for nursing over a three year agreement is paid upfront for this union‘s members, rather than timed over a similar period.”

Nick Saville-Wood adds that Lakes DHB’s offer is aligned to the offer accepted by 80 per cent of other clinical staff who have been in negotiations with DHBs for the past 12 months, and is the same as what APEX has accepted for its members in another DHB.

He says the health and safety of its anaesthetic technician staff has always been front of mind. He says Lakes considered staffing requirements in this group some time before offers were tabled and has looked to increasing the team by a further staff member as well as a trainee.

Lakes DHB is satisfied there is adequate health and safety provision for rest breaks between shifts, and is mystified that Lakes is the only DHB being targeted over this issue.

Nick Saville-Wood says Lakes DHB has not rescinded any of the health and safety initiatives embedded in the current agreement with the anaesthetic technicians.

“Lakes DHB values its anaesthetic technician personnel. We have always bargained in good faith and will continue to do so with APEX and its members,” said Mr Saville-Wood.