Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation and supporters picketing today outside Ashburton Hospital during planned eight-hour strike action.
Members are seeking better pay and safer staffing levels, which had seen many in the profession at breaking point.
The group walked from the hospital to Walnut Avenue and down to the roundabout on West Street and return, before a contingent went through to Christchurch to support their peers and picket outside Christchurch Hospital.
The Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards have nearly 5000 staff who could strike, so significant disruption to non-urgent services was expected during the action.
However life preserving services such as urgent and emergency care for patients was covered during the 11am to 7pm strike period.
Negotiations are set to resume after the strike.