DHBs and midwives reach settlement

Hospital midwives will receive a massive pay rise after finally reaching a settlement with district health boards (DHBs).

They will receive a 17.5 percent pay rise by August 2020, after two years of negotiation, in a deal they say recognises the pressures they're under.

Midwives elected to strike in November 2018 after 90 percent of Midwifery Employee Representation & Advisory Service (MERAS) members voted to reject the DHBs' previous pay offer.

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

Midwives union co-founder Caroline Conroy told Newshub it's about time a settlement is reached.

"It's a historic moment for midwifery really, for hospital midwives, we shouldn't underplay the impact that this has had really and the huge change it will make for hospital midwifery."

Conroy said there is finally an understanding of what midwives do.

"And acknowledgement of the staffing issues that midwives are working under and the pressure that they're working under."

DHB spokesperson Helen Mason told Stuff she was pleased with the result.

"Midwives are an integral part of the broader health team and this settlement reflects the importance of their role."

DHBS and MERAS are jointly supporting a pay equity claim and work is also underway to look at staffing levels across the sector, Stuff reports.