Kia ora DHB Member,
This is a brief update to keep you informed of developments and progress around taking the proposed DHB Nursing Pay Equity Settlement to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).
As you are no doubt aware, the poll of union members and all DHB employees, which closed on Monday 9 May, indicated that a clear majority of employees preferred taking the proposed settlement to the ERA rather than pursuing ratification.
Representatives of NZNO and the PSA have met with our Pay Equity lawyer to discuss the next steps in the ERA process and the outcome of this meeting is as follows.
There are a number of legal requirements that need to be met. These include formal notice to all employees covered by the claim about timeframes for each step in the process. Some of the initial steps will have clear timeframes, such as when we will file with the ERA for a determination, and some are uncertain because they depend entirely on the ERA’s decisions.
We will also be communicating with the DHB employers about the next steps. It may be that mediation/facilitation could occur before the ERA receives the filing, or it could be that the ERA directs the parties to mediation/facilitation as a first step. Mediation/facilitation may serve to define the issues between the parties and/or establish whether there is any common ground.
Our lawyer is preparing the ERA filing and will also provide advice about the issues we need to keep you informed about, so you can expect to receive more precise details from us soon. One thing he has already advised is that the Equal Pay Amendment Act is a new piece of legislation. That means issues such as ours have not yet been tested through the courts so there is no case law to be relied on.
Paul Goulter, Chief Executive
NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa