Monday, August 6, 2012

Union of Stock Photo Doctors threatens charities with strike action

Wants more to teeth

The people who are the face of most of the nation’s health care charities may soon be on strike.

The Union of Stock Photo Doctors, which represents more than 300 photo models who appear as doctors in stock images used by US charities, will be in a legal strike position next Friday. The Union and the League of Big Honking Health Charities have been in contract negotiations for more than six months.

“We’re the happy, smiling doctor with the clipboard in your hospital’s direct mail letter. And we’re the doctor in the scrubs looking very knowledgeable at the health charity’s website. If it wasn’t for us, these charities would never be able to raise a dime,” said Dibble Brewer, President of the Chicago-based Union of Stock Photo Doctors. “We just want to have a better shake for our members.”

Charities switch to cute animals
The two sides are deadlocked over royalties and changes to working conditions. The Charities want the Stock Photo Doctors to only get paid by how much they look like real doctors, as determined by their “doctor quotient”. The Union says it wants extra dental pay for Stock Photo Doctors who need to smile a lot. The Charities also want changes to work rules which have up till now limited the number of times they can use one single image. They want to be able to use any image as many times as it takes to make their donors think that the Stock Photo Doctors are in fact real doctors at their hospitals and charities. The Union has countered with an offer to allow charities to use their images repeatedly until donors forget what real doctors actually look like.

Even with the help of a mediator, both sides appear to be far apart. The Union held a strike vote last Tuesday. More than three-quarters of the membership voted for strike action.

“Real doctors don’t actually look like they were chiselled out of stone with their good looks and have hair that was arranged by archangels and other cherubim and teeth that were carved out of pure ivory... that’s just what the Charities want donors to think,” said Brewer. “If we’re going to be unreasonable facsimiles of the real thing we want to be compensated for it.”

Stock Photo Doctors could be walking the picket line at hospitals and direct mail agencies as early as Friday morning. The Charities have responded by asking other Stock Photo Unions to fill in for the striking doctors, but most have refused.

“Our members won’t be crossing the Doctor’s strike lines. We aren’t scabs,” said Spooley Hairdo, President of the Stock Photo Nurses Union. "Besides, we're only nurses and everyone knows that charities only want stock photo doctors."

Charities spokesperson Melvin Snidely says the various health charities will use “alternatives” in case of a strike, including adorable stock photo images of horses and baby leopards.

“We don’t need the Stock Photo Doctors to raise money,” said Snidely. “Once donors get a look at our new direct mail campaign using chimpanzees who humorously put a stethoscope up their nose no one will even remember those Stock Photo Doctors.”