Fresh meetings launched ahead of May decision on pay equity deal for DHB members

April 21, 2022

NZNO has launched a fresh batch of online meetings ahead of a May 1-8 member survey on whether to accept a pay equity proposal or refer it to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

NZNO cancelled a vote planned for this week to ratify the proposed settlement, after its legal advice found it contrary to the Equal Pay Act 1972.


Chief executive Paul Goulter said that followed “significant member dissatisfaction” over a proposed $10,000 cap “in recognition of” back-pay, instead of the promised back-dated pay to 31 December 2019.


“This would result in many DHB employees receiving much less than their entitlement according to past promises and agreements,” Goulter said in an April 19 email to Public Service Association (PSA)/NZNO members and DHB employees.

NZNO and PSA now needed a “fresh directive” from members via an online survey from May 1-8 asking whether:

  • NZNO/PSA take the matter immediately to the ERA to decide on the full backdating claim. The ERA would then determine the timing and the full proposal including base pay rates.
  • The existing proposal is taken to ratification for a vote. If rejected, NZNO/PSA would refer it to the ERA for a determination.
Senior nurses pay gap ‘eroded’

Goulter also said NZNO was aware many senior nurses were not satisfied with their rates in the proposed settlement. “It is important to understand that, if members endorse the ERA review option, all aspects of the settlement will be up for review, including proposed base rates,” he said in the email.


Employers, too, were aware the pay difference between senior nurses and registered nurses (RNs) had been “eroded” by the proposed settlement, Goulter said.

Paul Goulter

A joint working group would now be set up to investigate whether the relative pay gap needed to be restored, and to “fully capture the breadth and depth of senior nurse practice, leadership roles and responsibilties”, he said. The work would be completed by October, in time for the 2022 multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations.

Unions are legally obliged to keep non-union employees informed of the ratification process. Those who wish to opt out of the final pay equity deal must do so before it is settled.


On September 17, 2021, NZNO and the 20 DHBs signed a settlement which provided that the pay equity pay rates once settled would be back paid to December 31, 2019.

Date Time Zoom Link Meeting ID Passcode
20/4/22 11.30am – 12.30pm Meeting link 816 5751 9134 612366
20/4/22 4.30pm – 5.30pm Meeting link 886 0691 3485 598370
21/4/22 11.30am – 12.30pm Meeting link 831 3713 0112 089370
21/4/22 4.30pm – 5.30pm Meeting link 864 5504 0596 000684
22/4/22 4.30pm – 5.30pm Meeting link 824 7714 9587 880954
26/4/22 11.30am – 12.30pm Meeting link 891 3295 2120 130228
26/4/22 4.30pm – 5.30pm Meeting link 880 0345 0960 269785
27/4/22 4.30pm – 5.30pm Meeting link 817 7585 7319 504442