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DHB MECA Independent Panel Recommedations

Media release 24 May 2018

NZNO members advised of Panel recommendations

The Independent Panel established to resolve the impasse in the NZNO/DHB Nursing and Midwifery Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (DHB MECA) negotiations released its final report and recommendations on Tuesday 22 May. Our members have today received the Panel’s report along with the NZNO’s written submissions. This includes a summary of NZNO’s response against each of the Panel’s recommendations.
Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne says:

“These recommendations, and our expressed response in our submissions, should provide DHBs with an opportunity to provide an updated offer,” she said.

“NZNO members covered by the DHB MECA will want to see a significantly improved offer from the previously rejected one. It has to clearly demonstrate that it has gone a long way to address member concerns about the value they provide towards the care for the population of New Zealand, improving health outcomes and our people’s well-being.

“Ultimately, following the Independent Panel Process, NZNO DHB MECA members expect an updated DHB offer to resolve the impasse; one which addresses the core issues of safe staffing, pay and working conditions,” Cee Payne said.

Cee Payne explains that the Panel’s recommendations fall short in addressing the matters outlined in NZNOs submissions with regard to remuneration. In particular:

1. Prioritising a one off lump sum for the first year rather than investing this directly into a salary scale.
2. Delaying an increase to wage rates /base salary by 10 months.
3. Relativities with benchmark occupations (MRTs and Secondary Teachers) have not been addressed.
4. The recommended term of the DHB MECA being proposed is longer than the term DHBs have previously agreed to.

“NZNO members will be pleased to see a significant number of recommendations that reflect their concerns about the immediate staffing crisis. Of particular note is the recommendation for an additional 2% funding to ensure DHBs have the nursing and midwifery workforce capacity to deliver the required patient services. This is a significant recommendation and not seen previously for nursing and midwifery.”

On Monday 28 May NZNO will receive the updated offer from the DHB employers.

“The updated offer is unknown at this time, however DHBs are aware of what will be required to resolve this impasse. The recommendations from the Panel indicate this will require additional funding from the Ministry of Health.” Cee Payne said.

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