Voting closes on Friday September 9, 2022.
Two constitutional remits have been received from Te Matau a Māui regional council of NZNO co-chairs Sandra Corbett and Elizabeth Banks.
Constitutional remit 1 proposes adding a new disciplinary clause to the NZNO constitution (Schedule 1; new clause 220.127.116.11) making it an offence to: “Knowingly act in a manner that is likely to either bring NZNO/NZNO officers/NZNO staff into disrepute, adversely impact the mana of NZNO/NZNO officers/NZNO staff, or incite racism or hate”.
Its rationale is stated as: It is imperative that as we move together ‘all of sector’ with the Maranga Mai campaign that we ensure the values of unionism and solidarity are strong. No light between us.
Over the past few years some of the member comments have been deliberate in their intent to bring down our union. To the extent where members were encouraging other members to join other unions. This brought unsubstantiated and false speculation that our union was acting in an improper way and on the brink of collapse.
To unite NZNO, members agree and support the organisation values, or the alternative if they don’t is to seek a union that supports their views and aspirations.
Constitutional remit 2 proposes amendments to the affiliate membership part of the constitution (Schedule 1; clause 3) to state that: “A dual member as defined at subclause 3.4 may not hold office, be a delegate, propose nominations or motions, or have voting rights under this Constitution”.
Its proposed new subclause 3.4 defines dual membership as “where a member is also a member of another union and has authorised that other union to act as the member’s bargaining representative”.
Its rationale is stated as:
. . . members who are NZNO and belong to another union who they have nominated to do their bargaining on their behalf, should not then have the same affiliate conditions apply to them.
We feel that in situations where NZNO does not do the bargaining for these members, and the other union is the member’s nominated choice, therefore these members should be subject to the same conditions as affiliates. This then follows that they not be entitled to hold office, be a delegate, propose nominations or motions or have voting rights.
Constitution Remit 2 background information for consideration from the Remit Committee
- The remit information was updated on 29 July 2022 with some additional comments, as follows, from the Remit Committee regarding Constitutional Remit 2 following member requests for clarification.
- Historically, mental health nurses and some other nurses were not employed by the predecessor to the district health boards and were represented by the PSA. During past DHB/NZNO Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (DHB MECA) negotiation it was agreed that the PSA would represent these mental health nurses in some areas.
- For some time, clause 2.2 has excluded mental health and some other nurses at some DHB regions from MECA coverage as NZNO members. The DHBs agreed to alter those exclusions once coverage issues were resolved between NZNO and the PSA who entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about coverage in 2018.
- Specifically, the MoU and corresponding clause in the DHB MECA excluded NZNO industrial coverage of mental health nurses in Waitemata, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Marlborough/Nelson and West Coast. To ensure industrial coverage mental health nurses covered by those provisions needed to join the PSA and give PSA bargaining authority. Those nurses could also belong to NZNO and access NZNO professional and other services. Many have done this and thus have the same rights (including standing for office) and obligations as other members – outside of those directly related to bargaining and industrial coverage.
- The potential impact for NZNO members with dual Union membership that is required under the above MOU, MECA or agreements that “they not be entitled to hold office, be a delegate, propose nominations or motions or
have voting rights,” needs to be considered when voting on this remit i.e. some members have no choice.
- There are probably other small numbers who, as a result of previous inter-union agreements, are in the same situation as these mental health nurses covered by those MoU exclusions.
- Some NZNO members are dual members so they can access NZNO’s professional services and professional liability insurance.
- Clause 4 of the NZNO Constitution already excludes members who are retired, affiliated, or who are members of another union – and therefore paying a reduced fee – from entitlement to NZNO’s industrial services.
Policy remit 1, received from the National Student Unit, calls for the removal of NZNO membership fees for nursing students.
Its rationale is stated as: More and more we see news articles about staffing shortages, burnout and dissatisfaction. This is our opportunity to fight for better outcomes for current and future nurses and their patients. In order to improve our workforce (and ultimately patient outcomes) it is imperative that we remove barriers to unionism so that we can work together to improve our field.
The remit committee also stated that removing fees for nursing students ($48.38 per year) would reduce NZNO’s membership income by around $67,000 per annum.
Remit and voting details
The remits in full along with background information from the NZNO Remit Committee can be found in the Candidate Profiles and Remit Information booklet (also available to you once you have logged into the voting site).
Here is the link to the website where you will to able to vote to elect seven (7) Directors and to indicate whether you agree/disagree with two (2) Constitutional Remits and one (1) Policy Remit. To vote you will need your unique personal identification number (PIN) and Password (case sensitive) which will be emailed or posted to you on 3 August).
Voting closes on Friday September 9, 2022.
The AGM is being held on September 13, ahead of the member group training day on September 14 and conference on September 15.
- This article was amended on August 8 to include background information from the Remit Committee concerning constitutional remit 2. This information is also available on p17 of the booklet.