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DHBs ask for Facilitation to help end MIT strikes

DHBs ask Employment Relations Authority for Facilitation to help end MIT strikes

District Health Boards are asking the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to help break the impasse in bargaining with APEX Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs) which has seen multiple strikes disrupting patient services.

MITs use X-rays, and other imaging technologies to help diagnose injuries and disease.

They will have taken six days of strikes in the last month and have served notice of more than 80 ‘partial strikes’ across all 20 DHBs starting this week.

Spokesperson Nigel Trainor says DHBs are hoping facilitation will help find a way to resolve the current impasse.

“We seem to be at the end of the road with this bargaining. This is the DHBs’ second settlement offer and the best that the DHBs can make – strike action is not going to change that.”

DHBs made a formal settlement offer to MITs on 18 October 2019 along the same lines as settlements already agreed by Nurses, Midwives, Physiotherapists, and Radiation Therapists, and several other health work groups.

The offer would see the base salary of a general MIT rise to over $86,000 after seven years’ service, and a Nuclear Medicine or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists rise to a base salary of over $101,000 after five years’ service.

The offer includes salary increases of at least 11 per cent over three-and-a-half years, a doubling of on call allowances and a lump sum of $1,600 for union members to acknowledge delays in bargaining.

“That offer was rejected this morning,” says Mr Trainor.

“DHBs can’t justify offering APEX more than our other clinical workforces and more strike action is simply going to cause further disruption to patients and other staff.

“Facilitation by the ERA is a constructive way forward and we believe it is the only way left to help find a solution. As an independent body, the ERA can hear both sides of the argument and recommend a way forward.

“Facilitation is a statutory process to help groups settle collective agreements. It was used to help find a settlement in the bargaining with NZNO Nurses and Midwives in 2018, and the pay talks with NZ Resident Doctors’ Association Resident Medical Officers earlier this year.

DHBs urge APEX to support the facilitation process and lift its current strike notices while the DHBs’ application is heard.”

ENDS

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