DPM happy

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 23, 2011

PERSONNEL Management secretary John Kali  last Thursday expressed satisfaction and relief that protracted negotiations with the National Doctors Association (NDA) has been successfully concluded on May 4 and a new three-year agreement covering 2011-13 has been signed.
He said although a separate joint media statement was made on the benefit to doctors, the health service and the people’s welfare, his statement was to make known to the public how government had instructed the National Court to intervene in the illegal strike initiated by the NDA executives in March.   
Kali said that government had instructed him to go to court not for the purpose of interfering in or unduly influencing the outcome of substantive matters that were to be negotiated with the NDA.
“The purpose was firstly to stop an illegal strike which threatened the health and welfare of the public, and secondly, for the court to direct the NDA to comply with the industrial relations legislation and procedures and to negotiate with the Department of Personnel Management in good faith.”
He said the court verified that NDA had not conducted a secret ballot of its members under the directions of the industrial registrar in order to call the doctors on strike, nor had NDA served a log of claims on the go­vernment as required by the legislation.
He said during the strike, the president had closed off all communication with the go­vernment, making it impossible for any party to break the impasse between themselves.
“These unlawful actions had been supported from the beginning by the PNGTUC general secretary John Paska, whom I thought would have advised the doctors of the illegality of strike considering that he is an experienced industrial relations practitioner.”