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Whangārei Hospital staffers walk off the job to demand better pay and conditions

As the pay gap between private sector and public sector anaesthetic technicians widens, Whangārei Hospital staffers walk off the job to demand better pay and conditions. “Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff (APEX) union representative Dr. Deborah Powell told Morning Report 20 surgeries had been cancelled over the last two months because of short staffing. "At the moment surgery is getting cancelled to a population that deserves better, so we're taking a stand to get the situation rectified,” she said. "We have to retain our guys and we need to recruit more." She said it was up to the DHB to bridge the gap between what it was paying its anaesthetic staff and what the private sector was offering, which at present amounted to a $30,000 difference.”

Tararanki District Health Board has finally put the brakes on its attempt to privatize its hospital laboratory

Senior doctors are relieved that the Tararanki District Health Board “has finally put the brakes on its attempt to privatize its hospital laboratory after dragging its heels on the matter,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “ASMS was taking legal action against Taranaki DHB on this matter with the Employment Relations Authority because the laboratory service is so critical to clinical decision-making of hospital specialists and the provision of quality care to patients. In trying to push privatization through, the DHB breached its engagement obligations under our national collective agreement.”

Source: New Zealand Doctor

“A discredited means of financing major projects”

The New Zealand Herald criticizes the government for choosing a ‘public private partnership’ model (“a discredited means of financing major projects”) to build Penlink, a proposed alternative route between the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and State Highway 1 at Redvale. “These are inevitably more expensive and often fail. Governments and local authorities sometimes see these as useful because the debts do not appear on their balance sheets. They will also be subject to the requirements of the TPPA and the General Agreement on Trade in Services, (GATS) allowing international corporations to force their way to gaining such contracts. More importantly they are seen to be a form of privatization. The fears and concerns are heightened because PPPs are normally focused on large publicly owned infrastructure, and it is the public who stand to lose control of vital assets, or eventually, the effective ownership of the assets.”

Source: www.pressreader.com

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