“Quite a few of our claims need back-up information,” explained DHB industrial adviser and lead advocate David Wait. “Take the claim around sick leave. Members tell us that 10 days’ sick leave is simply not enough and has never been enough, if they are truly to be able to protect both their own and their patients’ health. We are now waiting on the DHBs to provide us with sick leave data, so we can firm up this claim.”
The election and establishment of a new government had also caused a hiatus in the negotiations, Wait said.
“We know that some of our claims will require increased funding from government in order for them to be met. We anticipate more progress will soon be made, now the new government is in place.”
Having a negotiating team of 12 – twice as many as the team for DHB MECA negotiations in 2018 – was proving very effective, Wait said. “Having a more representative team was a recommendation from the Wilson report into the 2018 negotiations. This means most DHBs now have a representative delegate on the team. This has been the best decision ever.”
One member of the team had stepped down recently, due to an employment change. A delegate from Northland DHB, Jill Mortimer, had been nominated to fill the vacancy. Her nomination was now out for member endorsement. The next negotiations are due to be held on November 18/19 in Wellington.