Three district health boards in Auckland are to suspend laboratory workers at hospitals in the region for several hours each day if they continue to take industrial action.
Members of the Medical Laboratory Workers Union have been refusing to carry out some duties for the past six weeks because they want a bigger pay increase.
Counties Manukau DHB chief operating officer Ron Dunham says their actions are impacting on patient safety.
He says an offer of a 2% pay increase is on the table and the boards can offer no more.
The Medical Laboratory Workers Union says its members will not back down and are considering taking a more a concerted stance.