About a dozen midwives and their supporters gathered to protest outside the Tauranga Hospital yesterday to fight for a "fairer" pay offer.

The Tauranga midwives, members of the Midwifery Employee Representation Service union, picketed for two hours on Cameron Rd as part of a 12-hour strike.

The union is holding rolling strikes around New Zealand this week, culminating in a march on Parliament on Thursday.

Ernie and Susan Haines joined the picket line to support their daughter Sally Johns, who has been a midwife for 15 years including eight in Tauranga.


Their placard read: "It's time to push. We deliver for you, your delivery for us is overdue".

"The district health board is just not listening and my daughter and the other midwives work really hard and deserve to be given a fairer pay offer," Mr Haines said.

Tauranga Hospital midwife and union representative Wendy Collard said the midwives were forced to strike for a second time because they were "tired and frustrated" there was no resolution in sight.

"We are just not being listened to and our last negotiation proposal was just swept under the table and the longer this goes on I fear more midwives will head overseas.

"We don't want all our midwives to go to Australia who offered midwives far better pay and conditions than New Zealand does," Collard said.

A spokesman for the District Health Boards said yesterday that the boards were in still in negotiations with the union, with a proposal due to be considered by the boards' chief executive group today.

The boards would respond to the union's later this week.

A two-day junior doctors strike started yesterday at 8am.


David Munro, an advocate with the Resident Doctors' Association, said the junior resident doctors were determined to keep fighting.

He said mediation between the union and the district health boards will resume on Friday.

The doctors have voted to hold a fourth strike over February 26 and 27 unless there is a resolution.

The Bay of Plenty Times has asked the Bay of Plenty District Health Board how many surgeries and outpatient appointments had to be deferred during yesterday's strike, as well as the impact of the strikes on surgery waiting lists. A response was not received in time for our deadline.

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