Laboratory Workers at SCL Labs – part of Awanui Labs – in the South Island and Wellington region commence strike action in support of settling their collective agreement. Strike action will occur as follows:
Wednesday 12 July 2023 Complete withdrawal of all Phlebotomy services Thursday 13 July 2023 Complete withdrawal of laboratory services except phlebotomy Monday 17 July 2023 Complete withdrawal of all Phlebotomy services Tuesday 18 July 2023 Complete withdrawal of laboratory services except phlebotomy
The strike will impact all medical laboratories and collection centres from the Wellington region south, except for Canterbury Health Labs at Christchurch hospital and the lab at Grey hospital on the West Coast. The strike also includes the Awanui Lab in Hawkes Bay.
Awanui has made no pay offer yet at bargaining. APEX covers scientists, technicians and phlebotomists. Our wages claim across these occupations averages around 23.5%. This is the minimum required to regain parity with other similarly qualified health sector workers, and to maintain that against current cost-of-living pressures.
APEX represents more than 80% of the workforce who fall within the coverage of the collective agreement.
Life Preserving Services Agreements have been made for those hospital labs where a union member must be available during the strike in the event of a life, limb, or possibility of permanent disability, medical crisis event.
‘The parties will be in mediation to try and resolve this dispute on Wednesday 12th July 2023,’ notes David Munro Advocacy Lead for the APEX union. ‘It is good that we will finally be talking again,’ said Mr Munro. However, in a breathtaking piece of business arrogance Awanui has advised us that they intend to present a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer on Wednesday.
‘They have had our claims since early May, and now propose to turn up to mediation with a blindsiding proposal that could have been shared already with us. That hardly augers well for constructive negotiations.’ Mr Munro concluded.
Further strike action for late July is planned if bargaining remains unsuccessful.