Kia ora DHB Member,
I am writing to let you know that I have initiated a full legal review of the Pay Equity settlement agreement and the process leading up to it. The proposed settlement was presented to NZNO and PSA members on Friday 8 April.
The Pay Equity process took place before my appointment as Chief Executive and I have not been part of the negotiations. Nevertheless, it is clear to me from member feedback that there is significant dissatisfaction with the back pay aspect of the proposed settlement and how that relates to what members understand they have been promised.
It appears something is not right, and I have asked leading pay equity lawyer Peter Cranney to review whether the proposed lump sum (backdating) payment meets the conditions agreed to in our last MECA negotiations, and whether we were legally correct in bringing the proposed settlement to members.
As you are aware, the negotiations were protracted and difficult due to the number of parties involved and the complexities of the issues. The NZNO and PSA negotiation teams, which included members, saw the proposed settlement as a way of settling negotiations and getting much improved base pay rates to members.
While we still need definitive feedback from members, it seems most are happy with those new rates and the way they recognise the value of our profession. NZNO now intends to go hard on achieving those rates for all sectors of nursing, including primary health care, aged care, and especially Māori and iwi providers.
I expect to report the outcome of the legal review back to members as soon as possible, and preferably before the Easter break. You will need that information before voting on the settlement and, if required, I will delay the voting so you can be fully informed.
We already have three meetings scheduled for members and others employed by the DHBs at which they can learn and ask questions. We have now scheduled three more meetings just for members, as per the schedule below. I encourage you to attend one or more of these meetings so you are best equipped to help us decide the most constructive way forward after the legal review.
Paul Goulter Chief Executive
New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa
P.S. This email was sent to you as an NZNO DHB member using the email address you have registered with us. Some of our official communications regarding Pay Equity may have come (and may still come) to your email address as registered with your DHB. Our official Pay Equity communications must go to all DHB employees (not just NZNO members) and thus we are required to use contact addresses supplied to us by your DHB when communicating with all DHB employees.
Schedule of meetings