Days of action at Oceania.
Subject: Assisted living facilities (Negotiation, mediation and arbitration)
Collective labor agreements
Pub Date: 02/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Feb, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs Canadian Subject Form: Collective labour agreements
Product: SIC Code: 8059 Nursing and personal care, not elsewhere classified
Organization: Organization: New Zealand Nurses Organisation; New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 250321783
Full Text: Two days of action by union members Last month marked six months since NZNO and the Service and Food Workers' Union (SFWU) started negotiating renewal of the collective agreement with the country's largest aged-care chain, Oceania. The Sticker Day on January 17 and the Ribbon Day on January 26 marked the beginning of workplace action to try and break the deadlock over Oceania's refusal to pass on to staff any of last year's 1.73 percent government funding increase, despite making a profit of $16.2 million dollars in the last financial year.

As well as a pay increase, other issues the two unions are seeking to resolve are improvements to training available to members and changes to ensure safe staffing levels, all of which wilt improve residents' quality of care.

NZNO's co-advocate David Wait said there was great participation in the action days, which provided an opportunity for members to come together and resulted in increased membership, as Oceania workers realised the benefits of standing together. "These actions were also a warning shot across Oceania's bow."

A revised offer was due shortly and would be considered by members. There are around 1600 union members throughout Oceania's 59 sites. "If the negotiations remain unresolved, mediation is the next step, as is seeking the support of the general public and residents' families," Wait said. Mediation is set down for tater this month.

The country's second largest aged-care chain, BUPA, has recently reached a settlement with NZNO and SFWU, which passes on the government funding increase to members. "The BUPA settlement gives us hope of reaching agreement with Oceania, which has become increasing[y isolated in its refusal to pass on increases in government funding," he said.

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The SFWU's strategic industry Lead Atastair Duncan said that after mediation "we'll either be back at the bargaining table or taking some form of industrial action."

Duncan said the days of action were successful and boosted members' confidence to stand up for their rights. "This is about a private, overseas-owned company failing to pass on public money to its employees."
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