DHB MECA bargaining ‘on track’

October 1, 2020

Negotiations for the NZNO/district health board multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) – NZNO’s biggest in terms of members covered – are on track, according to acting industrial services manager Glenda Alexander.

“Given the coverage of the MECA, the number of claims and given everything we’ve had to contend with this year with COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, we are on track to get the solutions members want.”

After two days of negotiations late last month, small joint subcommittees are now working on developing wording and solutions for a range of claims, eg professional development and clinical supervision. NZNO organiser Ron Angel, who is working alongside lead advocate David Wait, said the aim of the subcommittees was to ensure consistency of practice across DHBs.

‘Good spirit’ at negotiations

There had been agreement in principle on a number technical claims, eg including legislative changes that occured during the term of the agreement and tidying up the wording of some clauses, Angel said. The negotiations were being carried out in a good spirit. “There have been pretty frank and open discussions.”

According to the member update issued after last month’s negotiations, there had been “robust discussions” on members’ three most significant claims, ie pay, safe staffing and sick leave. But no decisions had yet been reached.

Another day of negotiations was scheduled for October 14, which was to consider the information gathered by the subcommittees, with more negotiations scheduled for mid-November, Angel said.