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NO consent for CPTPPA

NZNO President Grant Brookes and Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku 13 February 2018 blog CPTPPA

If you’ve been to hospital recently, say for an operation, you’ll know of the form you are always given to sign before any serious procedure can happen: It’s the one asking your permission to do the procedure. Very important.

It also informs you about the procedure, why the doctor recommends it and the expected benefits, risks and side effects. Ultimately, it’s your choice to decide what is done to you.

These important permissions help illustrate why many nurses are still opposed to the ‘revised’ Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP/TPPA) now renamed Comprehensive and Progressive TPP (CPTPP). We are opposed because we still don’t know what’s in it for a start!

There has been no attempt to gain the consent of New Zealanders for this revised CPTPP. Every public poll on the previous deal found a majority of people opposed to it. In effect, we are all being experimented on. We have not been given any detail about the health risks that might come with the new CPTPP.

It’s because of this, nurses are absolutely clear about the need for the Government to publish the ‘secret papers’, engage the relevant experts and commission a full impact assessment on the health of New Zealanders – before signing.

We’re concerned about what the CPTPP will mean for access to affordable medicines – especially for the revolutionary new drugs now in the pipeline, called biologics, which hold the promise of curing diseases like arthritis and some cancers.

We’re concerned that the agreement may have been negotiated in a way which breaches the Treaty of Waitangi, and in addition, could undermine Māori health efforts

We’re concerned that an agreement containing ISDS provisions, which allows investors of big companies to sue whole countries, will limit our ability to tackle the health epidemics of the 21st century – non-communicable diseases like alcohol-related harm, or diabetes and heart disease, which are linked to obesity.

And we’re concerned that the CPTPP will undermine the social determinants that sustain good health.

In 2016, the NZ First MPs on the select committee considering the deal told parliament, “The TPPA will serve only to grow income inequality in New Zealand.” The Labour MPs on the committee said, “The best available analysis suggests that it is likely to lead to a reduction in the number of jobs.”

These things would harm the health of our population. And the agreement makes no reference to protecting health from climate change, potentially the greatest public health threat we are faced with today.

After refusing to endorse the TPPA before the election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern now says New Zealand will sign up to the deal at a ministerial meeting in Chile next month.

But we know that some of the provisions in the original text which threatened public health, have been the subject of further negotiations.

But those harmful provisions which have been addressed (we’re told) are only “suspended”. They have not been removed from the agreement, and could be reactivated in future. We also don’t know how they’ve been ‘fixed’ so to speak.

Nursing requires a deep commitment to the health and well-being of others. So when nurses say we’re worried about the CPTPP people tend to listen.

This is why the New Zealand Nurses Organisation added our name to a joint letter from health professionals to Jacinda Ardern in November to give an assurance about her bottom-lines for health.

We haven’t had that assurance yet.

So that’s why the NZNO president is joining the Wellington edition of the nationwide public meetings of concerned citizens on the 14th of February and NZNO kaiwhakahaere is in support of this action.

And until we know exactly what’s about to be done to our country’s health by the CPTPP, we do not give our consent.

https://itsourfuture.org.nz/future-home-page/news/

Grant Brookes Kerri Nuku
President Kaiwhakahaere
NZNO NZNO


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DHB MECA BARGAINING PROCESS

DHB MECA bargaining process

Lesley Harry Industrial Adviser

NZNO has a responsibility to uphold its democratic decision making processes and is obliged not to be swayed by influences outside of those processes, including comments on social media.

Social media offers opportunities for engagement on issues that matter to members but is sometimes used to misinform and influence NZNO’s democratic decision making processes.   NZNO has an obligation to act in good faith during bargaining with both employers and members.  Suggestions on social media that members have in the past been coerced to vote in a particular way is incorrect and unhelpful.  A recommendation from the negotiating team and informing members of the options before voting takes place does not equate to telling members how to vote.

The negotiating team when considering its recommendation takes into account a range of important considerations. The reasons for any recommendation is provided before voting takes place. This is so members are able to make an informed decision and not to tell members how to vote.  To suggest otherwise denigrates the collective intelligence of members and voting process itself.

A decision to take industrial action is also one that members must collectively decide on. Such action should never be taken lightly and the required process must be carried out with considerable care to avoid the potential of a legal challenge by employers.  Strike action may only occur after another secret ballot is held following members rejection of the employers offer or subsequent offers. The parties are required to attend mediation first so the process requires us to follow each step and this does take time.    Some comments on social media suggest that strike action may occur at whim and without the need to follow due process, this is simply not the case.

To clarify what happened in 2015, two sets of ratification meetings were held. The negotiating team decided not to recommend the initial offer which members voted against.  As part of that process members were asked why they rejected the offer. Further negotiations were held which did not deliver on the key issues identified by members. The parties attended mediation which led to an improved offer.

Based on the feedback from the first vote and member turnout, the team decided to recommend that offer.  It is always important for the negotiating team to have an indication that members would indeed support industrial action and meeting attendance is one important consideration.  Voting by secret ballot follows a full presentation of an offer and options for the next steps.   Here is what was presented to members at both sets of ratification meetings last time and no doubt a similar message will be presented to members at ratification meetings soon.

Options for voting outcome

 If the offer is accepted then we will complete and sign the MECA as soon as possible.

 If the offer is rejected then we will seek and attend urgent mediation to attempt to improve the offer. We would hope the DHBs would indeed respond to members views.

 If an improved offer is not achieved then we will be coming back for your support for an action plan which may include balloting for some form of industrial action.

 

2017 DHB MECA header