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Strike On As Union Rejects New Pay Deal

Strike On As Union Rejects New Pay Deal

The strike by radiographers in seven District Health Boards now seems certain to go ahead after the radiographers union rejected a new pay proposal during negotiations with a mediator in Auckland today.

Radiographers or Medical Radiation Technologists at Southland, Otago, Hutt Valley, Lakes (Rotorua), and Bay of Plenty plan to stop work tomorrow afternoon for 10 days, and at Tairawhiti (Gisborne) for five days. At Canterbury, the strike will begin at 10.00am tomorrow and go for nine days. The union has not served notice for one day because it is a public holiday.

Chai Chuah, CEO of Hutt Valley District Health Board and Spokesperson for the DHBs, says he’s disappointed by the breakdown in talks after DHBs revised their offer.

“I’m disappointed by their rejection. Right from the start of these talks they’ve said their aim was the same pay rates as MRTs in other hospitals - our revised offer would give them that by the middle of next year.

“DHBs have recognised the MRTs’ argument for parity, and the offer we have tabled over the last two days does give parity.”

We’ve made a significant compromise to try and get a deal and prevent the strike.

Mr Chuah says the priority now is contingency planning to minimise disruption and delays to patients as much as possible.

“There will be real pressure on clinical staff and doctors will have limited access to x-rays and scans to help in diagnosis. Arrangements have been made with the Union to provide staff to help in life threatening situations, and other providers of x-ray services will help where they can.

“Each hospital is scaling back services accordingly. Elective surgery will be reduced or postponed and outpatient clinics will be reduced during the strikes to ensure patient numbers are as low as possible.”

ends

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