The DHB MECA, which is currently being voted on by NZNO members, will set the benchmark for pay increases across both the health sector and other public worker groups. The DHB MECA covers Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Midwives in the District Health Boards (DHBs). This collective agreement will cover 27,000 members and is one of the largest collective agreements in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As a large collective agreement, the DHB MECA is commonly the benchmark for other groups in the health sector. Additionally, when teachers, police and other groups sit down to negotiate in the future; the DHB MECA will be used as a comparator.
The big question is whether the deal is good enough. The deal, which among other things, gives members a 2% increase nearly every year for 33 months. This has been recommended by the negotiating team, a team made up of 6 members plus unelected NZNO staff to represent the 27,000 members the agreement covers. In light of other public sector groups campaigning on significant pay increases, this proposed offer pales in comparison.
Health Sector Workers Network (HSWN) believes that members need to think long and hard about four things when going to vote.
- In a chronically underfunded health system, should workers expect to continually be pushed aside with minimal pay increases?
- Is the current government (who only recently stepped in to increase the deal) going to decline a better deal?
- Does this offer meet the rising costs of living?
- Will other workers from across the public sector be happy with this deal?
We believe, as a rank and file network of health sector workers from across Aotearoa/ New Zealand, that the answer to these questions is a resounding NO!
Workers are worth more!
Health Sector Workers Network