Students Used as Unpaid Strike Breakers During MIT (Radiographer) Strike at Middlemore Hospital
Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs, otherwise known as radiographers) across New Zealand, went on strike at District Health Boards on Monday 30 September and Wednesday 2 October.
During these strikes, Counties Manukau DHB (CMDHB) required students on clinical placements to perform the work of striking MITs at Middlemore Hospital.
This is a breach of the Employment Relations Act and no other DHB scheduled students on clinical placements during strikes.
“This is both illegal and highly unethical. APEX works with each DHB to ensure that Life Preserving Services (LPS) cover is in place during every strike, so there would never be a need to use students as unpaid cover. The DHB managers should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting students in this way,” says Luke Coxon, Senior Advocate, APEX.
The students came from Unitec, University of Auckland and UCOL (Universal College of Learning). Ara Institute of Canterbury cancelled clinical placements during the strikes.
APEX has since requested CMDHB and educational providers cancel the scheduled clinical placements at Middlemore Hospital during next week’s MIT strikes which will take place on Monday 14 October and Wednesday 16 October.
“The students told APEX they felt they had no option but to work through the strike. Some students were told they had to, and others believed that not working during the strike would mean they could not graduate,” explains Mr Coxon. “These students felt like they had been used as slave labour; they were placed in an unacceptable and intolerable situation by the DHB and educational providers. This should not have happened at the time and it should not happen again,” continued Mr Coxon.
Luke Coxon is available for comment on 021 904 888.