21 Oct 2010

Doctors' union rejects compulsory arbitration idea

6:08 am on 21 October 2010

A senior doctors' union says health professionals should be allowed to strike, and that compulsory arbitration would only make industrial relations worse.

District Health Boards say strikes by radiographers and laboratory workers are causing harm to patients and are calling on the Government to review the process that allows health workers to strike.

The director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Ian Powell, says the right to strike is an important one.

Mr Powell says compulsory arbitration is inflexible and makes it difficult for unions and employers to resolve difficult issues.

He says another way to resolve a dispute would be a facilitation process through the Employment Relations Authority.

Most district health boards and the Blood Service have been experiencing intermittent strikes by radiographers and medical laboratory workers for more than three months.