28 Sep 2010

Junior doctors, DHBs talking but not commenting

6:16 pm on 28 September 2010

Junior hospital doctors and their employers met on Tuesday for pay talks and say they will meet again on Wednesday.

District health boards and the junior doctors' union have been in a tense stalemate over the negotiation of a new collective employment contract for more than 3000 junior doctors.

DHBs have proposed significant changes to the contract but the doctors have said it's a clawback they can't support.

Two days of talks were scheduled in Auckland in the latest bid to resolve the row. Neither side is yet commenting.

Verbal offer rejected

DHBs say changes are needed to the contract, which expired last December, so that managers can staff hospitals more easily. They are offering a pay increase of between 2% and 4%, in return for changes to some employment conditions.

The doctors say they are not asking for a big rise but want to preserve the conditions they have fought for. They say they're disappointed the DHBs have rejected a verbal offer of a 1% rise and a roll-over of conditions.

The DHBs have insisted that any offers must be in writing.