NATIONAL 17 January 2020
Dear Member,

Ngā mihi o te tau hou

I hope those of you who were able to take a holiday over the Christmas/New Year period enjoyed the break and managed to find some good weather. For those of you who had to work through, I hope you can take much-needed time-off over the summer or later in the year.

We are all back on deck at ASMS and there are a few things we wanted to share with you ahead of what we know is going to be a very busy year.

MECA negotiations

ASMS is about to go into negotiations with DHBs for a sixth national MECA to set your working terms and conditions for the next three years. It’s an exciting and important time. Here are some key points to keep in mind.

  • The current MECA expires on 31 March. We have eight days of negotiation before expiry.
  • The first round kicks off on 12 February.
  • It’s a tricky industrial environment but ASMS is well-prepared and has already held two productive pre-bargaining discussions with DHBs.
  • We’ve developed a comprehensive claim in association with members through individual  member feedback, JCCs, branch officer meetings and feedback at annual conference.
  • The claim is well-supported by ASMS research and surveys on issues such as staffing shortages, burnout and shift work, including input from a special ASMS shift work group.
  • We want the negotiations to focus on your wellbeing and the sustainability of your work.
  • ASMS’ bargaining team will be led by Senior Industrial Officer Lloyd Woods and ASMS National President Professor Murray Barclay. Waikato DHB Chief Executive Kevin Snee will oversee the DHB side.
  • We’ll bring you regular updates on the progress of the negotiations.

Subscription increase

The cost of ASMS membership will increase at the start of the new financial year on April 1st. At the Annual Conference in November, delegates voted in favour of a rise of $100. That takes the annual subscription cost to $1200 (GST inclusive). A letter will go out to members next month detailing the increase and how it will affect your deductions.

ASMS staffing changes

We’ve had a shuffling of the deck chairs on the staffing front.

A new industrial officer joins us this month to fill the gap left by my appointment to Executive Director. Georgia Choveaux comes to us from the Nurses Organisation. She’ll be working as part of ASMS’ northern industrial team alongside Steve Hurring and Miriam Long, covering Northland, Waitemata, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waikato and Bay of Plenty DHBs.

Steve Hurring has been promoted to Senior Industrial Officer, adding strength to the industrial team’s leadership capacity.

Office expansion

Due to the recent expansion of the industrial team ASMS has been grappling with a squeeze on space in our central Wellington office.

As a result we have leased part of a floor in the same Brandon Street building and several staff will be moving in the next few months.

Please remember if you have any issues in your workplace or need information or advice you can contact one of our industrial officers by calling ASMS on 04-4991271 or emailing You can also visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

I look forward to catching up with many of you during the year.

Ngā mihi nui

Sarah Dalton