Midwives' union back to battling DHBs over pay

Midwives' union MERAS is set to battle it out with DHBs, with strike action possible.

Spokesperson Jill Ovens says she is feeling positive about a meeting on Friday to discuss their needs.

"I'm hopeful that we'll get an outcome that our members will find satisfactory, if not, our members will be taking action."

If Friday's meeting fails, midwives will walk off the job and only provide life preserving services during rolling strikes in February.

"We want to have a pay differential that recognises midwives skills and responsibility and qualifications," says Ms Ovens.

Midwives elected to strike in November 2018 after 90 percent of MERAS members voted rejected the DHBs' pay offer.

They held two-hour work stoppages every day on every shift over a two-week period from November 22 to December 5.

Dr Clark said last year he was not a part of the midwives' negotiations with the DHBs, and it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on the latest offer.

"I'm advised that DHBs and the midwives union have agreements in place for life-preserving services which mean that women in labour will not be put at risk. I thank midwives for their professionalism in this regard," he told Newshub in November 2018.


A previous version of this article referred to a report around community midwives' pay. Community midwives are separate to DHB midwives and the article has been updated to remove this reference.

It has also been edited to clarify the terms of the strike.