13 Sep 2010

Junior doctors, DHBs seek to settle differences

8:00 pm on 13 September 2010

Talks between junior hospital doctors and their employers have ended on Monday with little progress apparent.

Junior doctors and district health boards have been in negotiations for months over a new agreement on pay and conditions.

The DHBs are seeking significant changes to the pay deal with 3100 junior doctors, saying the changes are necessary to achieve greater flexibility in the workplace and to improve training.

The boards say that with base salary rates ranging from $52,800 to $172,200 a year, with extras, the current system is costly and complex.

The doctors say the proposed changes would add to difficulties associated with retaining junior doctors in New Zealand.

Separately, senior doctors on Monday announced they had reached a 2% interim rise with DHBs as they continue exploring wider salary concerns.

Junior doctors say they want a similar 1% interim deal with DHBs.

Their union has conducted a ballot of members on industrial action, saying that may result if the boards do not act on their request.

The talks will continue on Tuesday.