EXECUTIVE 16 September 2019
Dear Member,

This is the fourth Executive Direct for 2019, reporting on a recent meeting of your National Executive on Thursday 5 September 2019. We normally send members an Executive Direct after each Executive meeting and also put these on our website (www.asms.org.nz). The Executive will next meet on Wednesday 27 November, the day before our two-day Annual Conference starts.

The Executive meeting discussed a number of issues, including the announcement of a new Executive Director, ASMS strategy and budget assumptions, 2020 MECA negotiations, the ASMS shift work advisory group, and the interim report of the Health and Disability System Review.

Executive Director appointment

The National President Professor Murray Barclay congratulated and formally announced Sarah Dalton as the next Executive Director from 1 January 2020. 

Sarah Dalton is an ASMS Industrial Officer for Northland, Auckland, and Waitemata DHBs, and until recently, Counties Manukau DHB. She will continue in her current role until the end of the year, by which time we hope to have appointed another industrial officer for these DHBs. Before joining us in 2015, Sarah worked at the PPTA for seven years, initially on professional matters and subsequently on employment relations matters for principals and teachers. She has held several teaching roles, including that of Assistant Principal at Aotea College and Head of Department for English at Upper Hutt College.

New Executive member

Dr Nathalie de Vries (paediatrician, MidCentral DHB) was welcomed to her first meeting. She was elected to the Executive for Region 3, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Tim Frendin (Hawke’s Bay). Region 3 covers members employed within the boundaries of Tairawhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, MidCentral, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, and Capital & Coast DHBs.

Progress of ASMS Strategy and Budget Assumptions for 2020/21 financial year

One of the main features of the meeting was a lengthy discussion on the Association’s operational strategic direction in the context of informing our budget assumptions for the next financial year commencing 1 April 2020. Both the strategic direction and budget assumptions were adopted. 

Charlotte Chambers, Director of Policy and Research, also advised the Executive on the MOTU economics research company’s preliminary findings on equal pay. There will be a session on this research at the Annual Conference in November.

The Executive approved the strategy.

The Executive authorised the national office to develop, in consultation with active Māori members, a draft strategy for the Association to engage with Māori.

Planning for MECA 2020 Negotiations with the DHBs

The Executive considered a report, including draft claim, about the upcoming MECA negotiations with the DHBs next year. The current MECA expires on 31 March. It agreed to respond positively to the possibility of substantive informal discussions or negotiations occurring later this year. It also voted to support the direction of the draft claim which focusses on SMO well-being and includes an emphasis on shift work protections and entitlements and sustainable work standards.

The Executive approved a number of branch presidents to invite to join it on the ASMS negotiating team for the MECA and the proposed bargaining process agreement which we are required by law to have agreed in advance of formal negotiations with the DHBs.

Shift Work Advisory Group

The Executive considered a report from an advisory group led by Executive member Andrew Ewens on shift work issues. It was agreed to support the formation of a wider email-based reference group of shift work members to receive relevant information and provide feedback during the negotiating phase for the national DHB MECA negotiations when they are underway.

Additional Policy and Research team member

The Executive approved the establishment of an additional full-time analyst position for the policy and research team, starting April 2020. The team currently comprises Charlotte Chambers as Director and Lyndon Keene as senior researcher.

New Public Service Act

The Executive considered a report about the Government’s consultation on its proposal to put in place a new Public Service Act. As part of the proposed changes, the State Sector Act 1988 would be replaced by the new Public Service Act. Under the new law, it appears DHBs would be considered part of the public service, and their employees as public servants. Once ASMS has seen and analysed the new Bill we may prepare a submission.

Review of Incorporated Societies Act 1908

The Executive considered a report about a Government review of the Incorporated Societies Act. ASMS is an incorporated society and registered under the Act as a precursor to being registered as a union. The national office will continue to monitor the implications of proposed largely technical changes.

Interim Report: Review of Health & Disability System

The comprehensive interim report from the Health and Disability System Review had been distributed to the Executive. The Director of Policy and Research advised on the interim report and its key themes.

It was agreed the Association should take a measured but rigorous approach and response to the report.

Establishing ASMS women members website

The National Executive approved the establishment of a website for Association women members.

Annual Conference date, 2020

The Executive approved the dates for the 2020 Annual Conference – Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November.

Collective Bargaining progress outside DHBs

The Executive considered a report giving an update on non-DHB bargaining. A number of collective agreements are expiring this year –Wellington Southern Community Labs, Whanganui Hospice, Union and Community Health (Christchurch), Clutha Health First (Balclutha), and Oamaru Hospital. The Compass Health Wellington collective agreement negotiations have been initiated. The Wellington Primary Health regional MECA was recently settled. The Family Planning collective agreement expires in late October which will lead to new negotiations.

Kind regards,

Ian Powell