Hospice talks go to mediation

May 1, 2021

NZNO is going into mediation with Hospice New Zealand, after members rejected its proposed multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) in April.

NZNO's hospice negotiating team
NZNO’s hospice negotiating team, from left: Julia Fletcher (Harbour Hospice Hibiscus Coast), Shelley Bignell (Te Omanga Hospice), Rachel Clarke (Arohanui Hospice), Nicki Twigge (Waipuna Hospice) and Donna Burnett (Nelson Tasman Hospice).

NZNO industrial adviser Danielle Davies said the NZNO negotiating team “stood fast” at a meeting on April 14, but an improved offer was not forthcoming from the employers. The hospice team requested mediation and this was agreed to by NZNO’s bargaining team.

A key reason for rejecting the offer was that a new step six for registered nurses (RNs) was not going to be implemented early enough. Hospice NZ offered to implement it from April 1, 2021, but members felt it should have been earlier – particularly as the previous MECA expired last August, Davies said.

Senior nurses were also concerned at a lack of transparency over the scope and nature of their roles. A five-step senior nurse pay scale provided no explanation of what roles were covered by each step, and there had been no scoping of roles, Davies said.

The current MECA covers 520 members in 21 hospices around the country.

A date for mediation is yet to be confirmed.