District Health Boards have accused the Resident Doctors Association of "cynical delaying tactics" after the union said DHBs' plans for emergency cover during a planned strike were "seriously deficient".

More than 2500 junior doctors plan to go on strike over pay and conditions on June 15. If the industrial action goes ahead, it will be the first national strike by junior doctors and is likely to force the cancellation of all but emergency care.

On Wednesday morning, the general secretary for the Resident Doctors' Association, Deborah Powell, said the union had requested the health boards to provide contingency plans for the strike to allow them to work out how many of their members would be needed for "life-preserving services".

But she said the plans shown to the union on Friday were "seriously deficient" and officials "had to waste time yesterday [Tuesday] working on them".

However, the advocate on behalf of the country's 21 DHBs, Dr Nigel Murray, said there was a legal process for DHBs and the union to agree how many doctors would be needed to provide emergency cover.

He said: "RMOs walked out after four-and-a-half hours [on Tuesday] and we've had to invoke the compulsory adjudication process laid out in the Employment Relations Act just to get them to talk.'

"This is a deliberate and cynical delaying tactic - we're trying to ensure patient safety and they're using cheap industrial relations tactics trying to score points and put additional pressure on hospitals."

Union officials are meeting District Health Board representatives under the adjudication process this afternoon to try to resolve issue.

- NZPA / HERALD ONLINE STAFF