Pay equity paperwork awaits legal advice as ratification process continues

March 16, 2022

District Health Board (DHB) nurses will likely receive details of an historic pay equity settlement by April 8.

Glenda Alexander.
Glenda Alexander.

An NZNO statement sent to DHB members this week said the  proposed settlement needed further legal input “from all parties” before it is presented to members.

“It is in our best interests that these are resolved because they relate to how the pay equity settlement will be implemented and maintained.”

Previously, NZNO industrial services manager Glenda Alexander said the settlement was “historic” – correcting an longstanding sex-based undervaluation of nursing work. It would ensure that DHB nursing, a predominately female-staffed profession, would be paid the same as similar work in other professions.

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The latest statement said the legal issues should be resolved by the end of this week.

Once the legal issues were resolved, the employers would follow set processes necessary under law – likely completed by March 25.

“This will enable the release of the details of the settlement to those covered by it, by the end of the week ending April 8.”

If approved it would be the biggest pay equity settlement ever reached under the Equal Pay Amendment Act passed in 2020.

When the settlement details were released, NZNO would provide the timeframe for online member Q&A sessions and the voting process.

The in-principal agreement was made in December last year. Once the settlement is presented to members, then virtual meetings and presentations would be organised (online due to Omicron) and voting would be done electronically, with a simple majority of eligible votes cast carrying the outcome.

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Previously, the community spread of Omicron delayed the DHBs’ ability to complete the in-principle agreement documentation for NZNO.