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End the theatre and get back to talks!

Media Statement
Monday 18 September

End the theatre and get back to talks!

District Health Boards are calling on the radiographers’ union to stop playing media games with patients and get back to negotiations.

“We have never refused an opportunity for meaningful negotiations with this union to try and settle this dispute,” says Dr Dwayne Crombie, spokesperson for the DHBs. “Using a slow news weekend to pump out misinformation to the contrary is an example of how this union is using the media to avoid engaging on the real issues.”

“The union obviously hasn’t heard the previous undertaking so let me repeat it – lift the strike notice and we will negotiate. Come to us with a proposal that signifies a move in position and we will meet to negotiate.”

Dr Crombie says the DHB team has been in regular contact with the union throughout the strike and has never refused an offer from the union for meaningful talks. "Days before the strike began we even outlined a significant compromise position if the union was prepared to lift the strike."

“DHBs will not negotiate with a gun to their heads. We have made a significant compromise in our position, the union hasn’t moved. 15% plus other conditions is too rich in anyone’s language – accusing us of not wanting to negotiate is a way of disguising just how unreasonable and inflexible the union is being.”

Hospitals in six DHBs (Lakes, Bay of Plenty, Hutt Valley, Canterbury, Otago and Southland) are preparing for two one-day strikes – one tomorrow and one on Thursday. “Virtually all elective surgery at those hospitals will be affected this week and outpatient clinics will be reduced to ensure patient numbers are as low as possible.

“Doctors won’t have x-rays and scans to help in diagnosis except in life threatening situations and each hospital is scaling back its services accordingly. Emergency services will be provided during the strike – we don’t want people who are seriously ill staying away, but unless it is urgent, most hospitals are advising patients to see their GP first.”

ENDS

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