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NZ’s largest MECA settled

7 December 2006

NZ’s largest MECA settled

After nearly 12 months and 27 days of negotiations, a proposed settlement for primary healthcare (PHC) nurses and administrative staff has been reached, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation announced this morning.

NZNO and the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) are recommending the settlement which, if accepted, will be New Zealand’s largest multi-employer collective (MECA), covering around 2500 members in 580 workplaces.

“This MECA is a momentous achievement for NZNO members,” said NZNO advocate Chris Wilson. “As a result of their campaigning, our primary health members have won a very significant pay increase moving towards pay parity with nurses in public hospitals.”

Chris Wilson said by July next year the pay rate for a practice nurse with five years experience in the proposed MECA would be 19 percent higher than the rate in their current national agreement.

The proposed MECA also significantly improves conditions, and includes five weeks’ annual leave after six years’ service.

“This MECA settlement sends a positive signal to the wider union movement, and particularly the private sector, showing private sector employers can collectively bargain across industries to achieve fair rates of pay and decent conditions,” she said.

If accepted by NZNO members, the Primary Healthcare MECA will cover 2500 practice nurses, registered nurses, midwives, administrative staff and medical receptionists in general practices and accident and medical centres.

NZNO will await the result of the NZMA ratification, which will determine the employer parties to the settlement. NZNO will then hold their postal ballot ratification in the New Year.

NZNO’s members working for Maori and Iwi providers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a separate MECA. Negotiations for this MECA are expected to begin in February. This will cover more than 500 members in around 100 Maori and Iwi health providers.

Ends.

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