Nurses confirm second strike on July 12

District Health Boards (DHBs) have confirmed New Zealand nurses plan to strike again on July 12. 

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) informed the DHBs of their intention to strike for a second time on July 12, DHB spokeswoman Helen Mason said in a release on Wednesday. 

The first strike will go ahead next Thursday on July 5 at 7am. 

The DHBs say they are still determined to reach a settlement to avoid the strikes taking place, but so far mediation between the NZNO and the DHBs has failed as the parties could not agree on a revised pay settlement offer. 

The NZNO bargaining team did not agree to a settlement offered by DHB MECA, bringing negotiations to an end just before 7pm on Monday evening.

Both parties have asked the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to step in to undertake urgent facilitation and make a recommendation on the settlement, in attempts to resolve the deadlock.

"We have asked the ERA for facilitation to help settle these negotiations and will be meeting in Wellington with them and the NZNO on Thursday and Friday," Ms Mason said.

"DHBs will do everything they can to reach a settlement and avoid the strikes. We will not be making further comment or providing interviews until after the process is concluded." 

The strikes are likely to see 27,000 nurses stop work. If they go ahead, the strikes will be the first for nurses in nearly 30 years. 

"DHBs are already implementing contingency plans for the first strike and will now start to finalise plans for the second one," says Ms Mason. 

"Our priority is ensuring we can keep everyone safe - patients and staff alike - and that means significant disruption to normal services."

To reduce demand on services and patient numbers as much as possible before the strike, non-acute and elective procedures are being deferred leading up to, and after, July 5.

DHBs are contacting people affected to provide more information.

"Emergency and essential services will be available during the strike," says Ms Mason. 

If the strikes go ahead, she says people should not delay seeking medical treatment and still go to hospital if the matter is urgent. They should dial 111 for emergencies or an ambulance. 

For all other matters, people should do what they normally do and visit their GP or visit a local pharmacy, and free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline (phone 0800 Healthline  0800 611 116).


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