3 November 2006
Medical Radiation Technologist Strike
District Health Boards are exploring options that could be developed to avert next week’s threatened strike by Medical
MRTs at seven DHBs - Southland, Otago, Hutt Valley, Lakes (Rotorua), and Bay of Plenty – plan to stop work for 10 days
from Friday 10 November. Canterbury will be affected for nine days and Tairawhiti (Gisborne) for five days.
DHB Spokesperson Chai Chuah, CEO of Hutt Valley DHB, says mediation is scheduled and he hopes common sense will prevail
and that a settlement can be achieved that meets the needs of hospitals and the MRTs.
At the same time, Mr Chuah says hospitals are working on contingency plans. “Patient safety is our priority and
emergency services will be provided although elective surgery and outpatient clinics will be significantly 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 will
have to start preparing to scale back services.
“Emergency services will be provided – 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.”
Mr Chuah says the union is wrong to blame the strike on DHBs by implying there had been a negotiated settlement which
CEOs refused ratify. That is untrue. The last union proposal was 20% (15% pay increase plus a further estimated 5%
increase in conditions) over two years which is unrealistic when inflation is around 3%.and DHB funding is even less
Mr Chuah says DHBs recognised that for this group of staff there is a difference in pay around the country. DHBs have
structured an offer that would give all MRTs a pay rise within a year and get staff MRTs to the basic salary scale they
want by 1 October 2007 within an agreement to run for two and half years from 1 July 2006.
“I urge the MRTs to return to the negotiation table so we can find a solution to prevent the strike action.”