Hospitals take steps to manage impact of sonographers’ strike

Combined media release from the metro-Auckland region District Health Boards.

17 January 2020

District Health Boards in the Auckland region will implement contingency plans to address patient safety concerns during a planned strike by sonographers from the APEX union.

The union has issued strike notices for Auckland, Waitematā and Counties Manukau which will affect patient care and timely diagnostics. At the same time, the union has recommended the parties enter into facilitated bargaining through the Employment Relations Authority.

The DHBs have offered APEX members the same level of increases agreed with other clinical workforces such as Nurses, Physiotherapists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Pharmacists.

The offer would mean that by 2021 newly qualified sonographers in Auckland would start on an annual base salary of $96,600 and move to just under $100,000 at the end of their first year. The top of the Sonography pay scale would be $132,000.

In addition, sonographers receive four weeks’ annual leave, increasing to five weeks after five years in the sector; up to another week of leave for working on-call; a minimum of seven (working) days professional development leave per year; and a professional development allowance of $2,800 a year.

DHBs are disappointed at the APEX strike action, which will adversely impact on patients, their families and whānau, and on other staff groups, and won’t resolve the dispute.

Sonographers play an important role in the detection and diagnosis of a range of conditions, including cardio-vascular disease.

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