A national strike earlier this year was averted after mediation saw a revised collective agreement (CA) ratified in February. It would have been the first-ever national strike at Family Planning.
The newly ratified CA includes wage increases of at least three per cent, backdated to April 1, 2020, but will expire on August 31 this year.
Also agreed was a joint approach between FP and NZNO on setting salary benchmarks for registered nurses (RNs), medical receptionists and health promoters against similar roles in district health boards (DHBs) and primary health care. This had been completed and a joint FP-NZNO briefing paper was ready to present to the Ministry of Health and Minister of Health Andrew Little this month, Wilson said.
She expected any funding shortfalls identified in the joint briefing document to be addressed in the next CA.
FP had said at negotiations that while it fully supported higher pay, it had no funds for pay increases unless it received additional funding. The Ministry of Health indicated to FP that they could advise NZNO at mediation that there was a “budget bid” for FP for the July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022, year.
Wilson said this was the first sign of a potential breakthrough; however the size of the bid was not yet known. NZNO was now working with FP to ensure the bid was well informed, she said.
NZNO and FP also agreed to start a joint national healthy workplace forum and establish a working group on nursing classifications. Both were planned for May.