17 Nov 2011

Provisional pay deal reached for senior doctors

12:55 pm on 17 November 2011

Months of tough talking between senior doctors and their employers over pay seems to be at an end with a provisional pay deal.

The development was announced at the doctors' annual conference in Wellington on Thursday.

Pay talks over the past two years involving 3800 specialists unravelled in April amid claims by District Health Boards that the doctors' case was unaffordable.

The doctors were seeking a $360 million boost to their pay and conditions over three years.

They thought they had the DHBs' agreement before talks broke down, followed by months of heated and at times antagonistic statements.

The conference heard that a provisional settlement was reached on Monday.

The deal is being recommended to members but Association of Salaried Medical Specialists president Jeff Brown says it won't stop the exodus of doctors to Australia.

He says Australia is after New Zealand's doctors and will continue to recruit them.

Dr Brown says the union has had to be pragmatic in the current economic climate.

The union won't release details of the deal, which is being discussed with members on Thursday.