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Media Statement From Canterbury District Health Board CEO David Meates

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Media Statement From Canterbury District Health Board CEO David Meates

On 19 October, the day Canterbury experienced a 5.0 aftershock, the New Zealand Medical Laboratory Workers Union (NZMLWU) advised the Canterbury District Health Board that they will take industrial action from 8:00am November 3 to 8:00am November 9.

The NZMLWU, which represents laboratory workers in 12 DHBs and the New Zealand Blood Service, is continuing industrial action that includes go-slows and petty actions such as refusing to answer telephones in laboratories, as well as escalating the number of all-out strikes.

Canterbury District Health Board, chief executive, David Meates says, "This type of action is designed to disrupt the running of the hospital and affect patients - without causing any loss of pay for the employees involved.

"The industrial action is having a significant impact on patients and health services, and this is intensifying each week. Patients and employers are both fed up with the aggressive attitude this union is taking. Our primary concern is for our patients' welfare," says David Meates.

The most recent notice from the NZMLWU has advised that they will withdraw all labour for some tests in toxicology at Canterbury Health Laboratories. This action is targeted to impact directly on a group of chronically ill patients in Canterbury, in particular those who are being treated for inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease and suffering from arthritis."

DHBs have been served with more than 800 notices of industrial action by Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) and Laboratory Workers in the last three months.

"These employees have turned down a deal already accepted by over 90% of the unionised health workforce," says David Meates.

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