NZ Blood Service Media Statement
Industrial Action by MLWU 27th November 2006
New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) will be affected by the planned 7 day strike by members of the medical laboratory
workers union (MLWU) due to commence on the 29th of November. The industrial action also involves laboratories in 15 of
the District Health Boards (DHBs) and a number of community laboratories.
NZBS is the only organisation responsible for collecting, testing, processing and delivering blood products throughout
the country. NZBS also operates the blood banks that do the pre-transfusion testing in six of the District Health Board
NZ Blood Service has been working closely with the DHBs in order to ensure that the impact of the industrial action will
be minimised and to ensure that those patients who need blood and blood products will continue to have access to it. The
contingency planning processes have also involved the development of an agreement with the MLWU for support in provision
of life preserving services if needed. NZBS has increased collection levels during the last two weeks to ensure that
national stocks of blood will not be compromised during the period of industrial action.
NZBS has asked the DHBs and private hospitals to postpone elective surgery where there is a possible requirement for
blood. This will reduce the demands on the Blood Service during the strike.
NZBS will continue to collect blood donations during the period of industrial action. Collection levels will however be
lower than normal. The blood collection programme will be reviewed on a daily basis. In the event that specific blood
collection sessions need to be cancelled then NZBS will ensure that affected donors are contacted.
‘Our message to donors is that if they have received an invitation or made an appointment to donate blood that they
should continue to keep those appointments unless we tell them otherwise’ said Paul Hayes, NZBS National Marketing