National 22 June 2020
Kia ora

We're past the shortest day, so find a cosy spot, put your feet up and catch up on all the ASMS and health sector news. 

Simpson Review finally lands

It’s been a long wait but the final report by the independent Health and Disability System Review has been released by the Government. The Review, commissioned by the Health Minister in May 2018, represents a major overhaul of the health and disability sector and promises large-scale reform not seen in a generation.  ASMS is still digesting the 264-page report and is preparing a more detailed analysis. In the meantime, we have put together some initial thoughts to share with members. Read here

We'd like to hear your views, click here to give us feedback

A new face and a team reshuffle

We are reshuffling our industrial officer teams, which might mean a change to your local industrial officer. Georgia Choveaux (ADHB) who has been part of the northern industrial team is off on parental leave in July. We have employed Kris Smith as a new industrial officer who starts on August 24. She will cover the South Island DHBs (except for Nelson Marlborough) and will be based out of Dunedin for the next twelve months.

Most of the changes will take place from next month. Have a look to see who is responsible for your DHB.

Check your payslip

Following the settlement of the ASMS DHB MECA, you should receive your (1.9%) CPI pay increase which is backdated to 6 April. It should be processed by your payroll services by the end of June.  We encourage you to check your payslips over the next few weeks to make sure that has happened. If you discover problems that you cannot easily resolve, please contact your industrial officer.

Post-Covid consultation

ASMS is aware that Covid-19 has meant changes to work practices around the country, and District Health Boards are beginning to consider what business as unusual might look like in the short to medium term. It is important to remember that the DHB Collective Agreement contains multiple provisions which protect members’ interests when change is being considered. Talk to your industrial officer if you have concerns.

Zooming in

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the second round of JCC meetings have been held by Zoom.  We have had a lot of positive feedback from members about having the Zoom option available.  We have also noticed an increase in numbers attending the meetings, which is great to see!  For the third and final JCC round of the year we will be returning to face-to-face meetings but will continue to offer Zoom so members can join in.  Remember your JCC is a good chance to put issues that matter to you and your colleagues in front of DHB senior management.  If you are under time pressure, you can always Zoom into parts of either the member pre-meeting or the JCC itself.

Budget number crunching

Making sense of the health budget is complicated but ASMS believes it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of how and where our health dollar is being spent.  This year we commissioned leading independent economic forecasting agency Infometrics to analyse the 2020 health budget.  They have crunched the numbers and produced a user-friendly report.  Read it here

Infrastructure woes

You may have recently seen in the media coverage of a government stocktake of hospital infrastructure.  The report looks at the state of more than 1100 buildings, along with supporting infrastructure such as power, water and IT services. It paints a pretty grim picture.  An appendix to the report Expert assessments for infrastructure provides a useful list of the problems in individual DHBs. You can also read ASMS’ media release Dire state of hospital infrastructure comes as no surprise.

Coming up in The Specialist

The June edition of The Specialist is about to hit your letterbox. Click the image to see what's coming up.

On the move or changing hours

Don’t forget when you move DHBs or change your hours it is important to let us know so your membership doesn’t lapse and you are paying the right amount. Most members pay by salary deduction and when you move DHBs your deduction stops, indicating to us that you no longer wish to be a member. If that is not the case, let us know so that it doesn’t happen. It’s also important to tell us if your contact details or hours have changed.  It’s easy to contact us at or call on 04-4991271.

Ngā mihi

Sarah Dalton
Executive Director