Midwives' union positive after return to negotiation with DHBs

Midwives' union positive after return to negotiation with DHBs
Photo credit: Getty.

Midwives' union MERAS says it is cautiously optimistic after meeting with District Health Boards (DHBs) on Friday to discuss ongoing pay disputes.

MERAS industrial co-leader, Jill Ovens, says a counter-offer to the MERAS proposal was made by the DHB team, but it is far from a done deal.

"There are several steps this must go through, including our own members, as well as the DHBs' chief executives, the Ministry of Health and the Government," she says.

No details of the specific deals can be discussed at this point but Ms Ovens says if the proposal progresses positively, a new Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) could be in place within four to six weeks.

On Thursday, Ms Ovens said that midwives wanted a pay differential that recognises "skills and responsibility and qualifications".

There is still strike action scheduled for midwives from 9am till 9pm on the 11th till the 14th of February.

Midwives last striked from late November till early December 2018, stopping for two hours every day on every shift for two weeks.


Correction: This article was amended on February 2 because it incorrectly stated Friday was the first day of negotiations between MERAS and the DHBs. The previous MECA between MERAS and the DHBs expired in 2017, and negotiations have been ongoing since then.

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