Radiographers working at district health boards throughout New Zealand are set to strike on 7 September.
Their union, the Association of Professionals and Executive Employees, says they are outraged at the suspension of four radiographers by the Counties-Manukau DHB on Monday.
About 1000 medical radiation technologists, or radiographers, carry out X-rays, imaging and scans at public hospitals. They have been involved in rolling industrial action over a lack of progress in pay talks.
The union says the suspensions are an attempt to bully staff into accepting a pay offer they have already rejected.
The DHBs have offered radiographers a 1% rise, followed by another 1% increase later. There has been no response from the boards regarding the strike notice.
Union delegate Bernadette Gourley says the DHB's actions is being seen as an extreme bullying tactic in order to coerce radiographers into withdrawing their planned strike action and accepting the offer that the DHBs have made.
The Counties-Manukau DHB says it suspended the radiographers because health boards have had enough of industrial action.
The DHB's general manager of medicine, Brad Healey, says industrial action is causing considerable disruption and health boards cannot continue to pay people for work that is not being performed.
Mr Healey says they radiographers are working to rule and the number of patients being processed a day is less than it would normally be.