Primary health care: Negotiations at NZBS

February 1, 2021

Negotiations for the 245 NZNO members at the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) got underway last month.

Claims include pay parity with the NZNO/district health board multi-employer collective agreement (DHB MECA); a top-up for members who take parental leave (DHBs currently provide a top-up for 14 weeks, ie they make up the difference between the statutory entitlement and what the member is ordinarily paid); and parity of sick leave, with the full first-year leave entitlement available on appointment rather than after six months.

Expanding CA coverage

Other claims include:

  • expanding collective agreement coverage to include two nursing roles – transformation officers and donor coordinators;
  • special leave when members must stay home for public health reasons, eg COVID-19;
  • allowing periods of absence on parental leave to count towards long-service entitlements; and
  • all members covered by the CA to be paid at least the living wage.

NZNO advocate Iain Lees-Galloway said during the first two days of negotiations the five delegates did a “superb job” of articulating the day-to-day realities members faced.

Because many of the claims are based on achieving or maintaining parity with the NZNO/DHB MECA, the progress of NZBS bargaining depends on the progress of the DHB MECA bargaining. The NZNO and NZBS teams have tentatively agreed to a further two days of bargaining in early March, after the next round of NZNO/DHB MECA bargaining.

In the meantime, NZBS has undertaken to work towards having rosters notified four weeks in advance and covering four weeks’ work. The service is investigating what date that could be effective from.