Medical Laboratory Workers Strike for 24 Hours
APEX members working in Medical Laboratories will strike for 24 hours later this week, from 8.00am on Friday 11th October until 8.00am on Saturday 12th October.
The strike is in support of pushing their DHB and New Zealand Blood Service employers to make a reasonable offer to settle the collective agreement.
David Munro, APEX Lead Advocate, noted the employers have been deliberately misleading with their public comments about the dispute. The DHBs’ Lead Advocate Nigel Trainor advises that the DHBs have suggested a settlement “in line with that already accepted” by laboratory employees covered by other unions.
“The duplicity is breathtaking” remarks Mr Munro. “The last employer offer was based on perpetuating lower rates for APEX members until at least June 2022.” In contrast, APEX has claimed the same pay rates with same commencement dates as those already settled by DHBs in other documents covering laboratory employees.
“APEX is claiming exactly what Nigel Trainor incorrectly suggests the DHBs are offering,” continues Mr Munro. “Perhaps this intentionally misleading line by the DHBs is a deliberate attempt to hide what is really going on?”
“It appears that the DHBs are deliberately discriminating against one section of their workforce. Our members are determined not to let their DHB employers discriminate against them in this way. Further strike action is almost certain if the DHBs position is not seriously revised by the next bargaining session.”
For further information, please contact David Munro.
Cell phone: +64 27 276 9999
Landline: 09 526 0280
What is a Medical Laboratory Worker?
Medical Laboratory Workers are registered health professionals who run laboratories and test, interpret and report laboratory results. They are trained to identify disease and abnormalities through studying blood, tissue and other bodily samples. Laboratory workers work ‘behind the scenes’ but remain an integral part of the health system whose work is vital to patient treatment. More than 90% of prescribed treatments require laboratory input to aid/confirm diagnosis or to monitor drug levels or disease progression.
Medical laboratory science is a bit like detective work. Workers look for answers to the disease ‘puzzle’ to help doctors diagnose and treat their patients. They answer questions such as: are these cells abnormal? What do these blood cells tell us about this person’s health? How does it fit in with their other symptoms? How much of drug ‘x’ is in this person’s blood? Is it working effectively? What bug is making this person sick?
Medical Laboratory Workers take on a high level of responsibility, often needing to make important decisions under pressure. Emergencies can occur at any time, day or night, so laboratory workers have to prioritise and use their initiative, often without much back-up. If the doctor needs to know the answer, they have to deliver. Sometimes this means working through the night providing results while a patient fights for their life in another part of the hospital or a surgeon waits, mid-operation, for a phone call.
Responsibilities include developing, adapting and applying scientific methods of analysis and ensuring high standards of quality assurance. An understanding of the methodology and theory behind complicated, technical and automated equipment is essential, as are developing the skills necessary to identify and interpret abnormalities under the microscope or via other diagnostic technology. Laboratory workers are highly regarded and sought after worldwide.