Positive Movement Overnight On Lump Sum Payment Delay In Pay Equity Negotiations Remains Concerning

Positive news for MERAS midwives at last.

The union was notified last night that a pay equity lump sum agreed to more than two months ago will be paid to member midwives before Christmas.

Yesterday MERAS Co-leader (Industrial), Jill Ovens, described the “constant and unnecessary uphill battle” they have been experiencing dealing with DHBs and the Government however today she is very pleased with the progress on the lump sum element of the negotiations.

“Absolutely thrilled for our members,” she says. “This payment should have been made soon after the members ratified the MECA on 17 September but they will receive it before Christmas so I guess it’s better late than never – but to be honest it shouldn’t have been late at all.”

The DHBs have however again cancelled midwifery pay equity negotiations which were scheduled for next week and Jill Ovens says this is the fifth time over the last couple of months that negotiations have been cancelled at late notice.

“We have been told that the DHBs don’t have a mandate from the Government to negotiate so they have to keep cancelling. Let’s hope that part of the issue is sorted ASAP and we can make a positive difference in addressing the historic undervaluing and underpaying of this highly skilled workforce,” says Jill Ovens