NATIONAL 18 March 2020
Kia ora

This Direct is to update you about the third installment of  MECA bargaining held last week. We also want to assure you that JCCs will still be going ahead.

We appreciate that many of you will be under the pump preparing for Covid-19 and we want to acknowledge the work that you are doing.

We’re pleased that health workers have been added to the priority groups for the flu jab – we expect vaccinations are now underway in your workplace.


After six days of bargaining we have reached the nitty gritty bit.

We’ve tabled all our claims and the DHBs have tabled some in return. It would be fair to say we have quite a bit of work to do before we achieve broad agreement. That said, we are chipping away at a number of issues and with ongoing effort we will get there. Of course, we now have the added pressure of Covid-19, and the real possibility that we may have to limit or postpone the bargaining process.

At the time of writing we still expect our team to be available for two more days of negotiating next week. However, as you know, the situation changes hour by hour, so we may have to be flexible. We are planning for the potential of having to continue discussions remotely – along with a commitment to face to face bargaining as long as it remains safe and sensible to do so.

Please continue to contact us with your feedback – we welcome it.

JCCs going ahead

ASMS is committed to continuing with the planned JCC meetings.

We appreciate that limiting the spread of the virus is a priority, however recent JCC meetings have led to useful discussions about local planning and preparation.

We encourage you to attend in person if you can, or remotely if necessary. We will also make use of Zoom at our end if needed.

We have asked the DHBs to try and sort out remote connectivity so that as many of you as possible can attend if you wish.

We look forward to meeting with you soon.

Branch Officers' meeting cancelled

Due to Covid-19 we have decided NOT to hold our annual branch officer workshop on 28th May. At this point we have no postponement date in mind, but will see how things go.

Did you know... Covid-19

Covid-19 is top of mind for everyone at the moment and there will undoubtedly be many questions to deal with as time goes by. You should already have received our Q&A on Covid-19 and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ASMS national office or your regional ASMS Industrial Officer.

The health sector unions, in partnership with the DHBs have also released some helpful Covid-19 guidance.

In additrion we are working with MPS to develop further advice about medico legal issues which may arise – so watch this space.


Ngā mihi,

Sarah Dalton
Executive Director