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The union for employed midwives on gender pay equality

The union for employed midwives applauds the test case over gender pay equality

Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Services (‘MERAS’) fully supports and applauds the actions taken by the New Zealand College of Midwives (‘the College’) on behalf of community Lead Maternity Care (‘LMC’) midwives to legally challenge the Ministry of Health over how midwives in the community are paid.

Employed midwives who predominantly work for District Health Boards have the right to negotiate with their employers. Our midwifery colleagues don’t have the right to negotiate with an employer. The Ministry of Health set and is responsible for their levels of pay. Over a number of years pay has declined dramatically in real terms while the work demands have increased.

The Ministry has been able to put a lid on the right of LMC’s to earn a fair income

Increasingly our hospitals rely on the unpaid work and good will of LMC midwives to supplement and support their employed midwifery colleagues who are working in understaffed maternity facilities.

MERAS supports these hardworking midwives working in the community. Midwifery is an essential, life-saving service and midwives deserve to be rewarded appropriately for that level of responsibility. Ultimately this legal action can benefit both LMCs and employed midwives

Linda Trillo, Chairperson of MERAS, said , “As a current employed midwife who has previously spent many years as an LMC I congratulate the College for taking this action which ultimately is about women as midwives being valued for their huge contribution to society and challenges the notion that our gender should mean we should accept less.”


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