Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Midwives Kick Off Two Weeks of Strike Action

22 November 2018

More than 1150 DHB-employed midwives will begin strike action today (Thursday, 22 November).

Employed midwives are striking for two hours, twice a day, over a two-week period through to 5 December. In all, 540 strike notices have been issued by MERAS, the midwives’ union, to the 20 DHBs.

The strike follows the DHBs’ rejection yesterday of a proposal that had been put forward by MERAS, in urgent mediation last Wednesday, in an attempt resolve the long-running pay dispute.

However, most MERAS members who are rostered on duty will be at work during the strikes, providing “life preserving services” (LPS) – see explanation of LPS on page two.

Midwifery Co-leader, Caroline Conroy, says strikes cannot go ahead if the safety of women and their babies is compromised as a result. But the fact that some DHBs have requested more midwives than would normally be rostered on duty, highlights the severe under-staffing in maternity units around the country.

“The union is being asked to find members willing to fill gaps in rosters. It is not the purpose of LPS to fix staffing shortages,” Caroline Conroy says.

Caroline Conroy says the extent of life preserving services having to be provided by MERAS members, reinforces the union’s position that as health professionals, midwives’ work is highly skilled, with a significant level of responsibility, and therefore midwives should be paid accordingly.

MERAS Industrial Co-leader, Jill Ovens, says the DHBs and the Ministry of Health are holding their position that MERAS members should accept the nurses’ pay scales, agreed as a result of a negotiation into which the bulk of midwives employed by DHBs and represented by MERAS had no part.

“Midwives and Nurses are health professionals and key members of a team that works hard to deliver the best outcomes for women and their babies. A decision by members of MERAS not to accept a DHB pay offer has nothing to do with being worth more, less or the same as nurses. We have a different code of practice, different expertise and have a different history to nurses. Other health professionals like physiotherapists and occupational therapists have pay differentials that reflect their qualifications, level of responsibility and scope of practice. Why shouldn't midwives have their pay rates set in the same way?”

Jill Ovens says MERAS has been told that the same workforce must have exactly the same pay and conditions, regardless of union coverage. Yet just last week, she says, “the DHBs concluded a settlement with one group of resident doctors that is not the same as that of the majority of resident doctors covered by a different union. That makes a mockery of their argument.”

Ms Ovens adds that everyone who is a health professional in this country deserves to be paid fairly for the work, qualifications and experience they have; and employed midwives (DHB midwives) - the majority of whom MERAS represents - are no different.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The George Floyd Protests

Poverty, discrimination and repeated acts of police brutality all help to explain the rage being expressed on the streets of American cities right now after the death of George Floyd but there is a more immediate cause as well: Decades of research on police shootings and brutality reveal that officers with a history of shooting civilians, for example, are much more likely to do so in the future compared to other officers... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Government Must Explain Why We’re Still At Level 2

The Government needs to explain to New Zealanders why it won’t consider a move to Alert Level 1 for another week, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller says.
“Kiwis have made enormous sacrifices to flatten the curve, but if their efforts still aren’t enough to move to Level 1 then the Government must explain why.... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels