Proposed PHC MECA achieved.
Subject: Primary health care (Laws, regulations and rules)
Collective labor agreements (Laws, regulations and rules)
Nurses (Compensation and benefits)
Pub Date: 10/01/2010
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Oct, 2010 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 280 Personnel administration; 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Canadian Subject Form: Collective labour agreements Computer Subject: Government regulation
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 241179378
Full Text: A Proposed new primary health care (PHC) multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) will deliver pay increases of five percent over two years to nurses and midwives. Medical receptionists/administration staff will get a four percent increase over two years.

The proposed settlement was reached after just two days of negotiations last month between NZNO, the New Zealand Medical Association and PHC employer representatives. It is one of the country's largest MECAs, with 600 employer parties and covering around 2800 members.

"It is very positive to get the proposed deal in just two days--a long way from the 26 days the initial MECA took to negotiate," NZNO industrial adviser (PHC) Chris Wilson said. "Having said that, the NZNO team needed to work hard to get the proposed MECA. We had to get some of the employers' initial claims, eg the removal of penal rates and other inferior proposals, off the table and then gain agreement on percentage increases that exceed inflation."

The term of the proposed MECA is from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2012.

Practice, registered and enrolled nurses and midwives will receive two percent from September 1 this year, two percent from September 1, 2011 and one percent from April 1, 2012. Medical receptionists/administration staff will receive two percent from September 1, 2010, and two percent from September 1, 2011.

Once the five percent increase for RNs, ENs and midwives was achieved, the rates in the PHC MECA, would, in the main, meet the relevant base rates in the 2010 NZNO/DHB MECA, with some slightly higher, Wilson said.

New wording in relation to merit steps means employees will need to provide evidence as to why they meet the merit criteria. "But more importantly for NZNO, the employer now needs to indicate, in writing if requested, either agreement to, or the reasons for declining the merit step request," she said.

Achievement of the first merit step would see the 2011 NZNO/DHB MECA rates exceeded.

NZNO believes significantly more members should be accessing the merit steps and believes the new wording will assist this.

Employers' voting

Wilson said NZNO now has to await the outcome of the employers' voting processes, which will identify which employers agree to be a party to the MECA. Once that has been completed, NZNO members whose employers have agreed to be a party to the MECA can then be balloted on the proposed settlement. If the settlement is ratified, those members will be covered by the new MECA.

"This means we may not undertake the NZNO ballot until November, but there is no disadvantage, given the first wage increases are backdated to September 1," Wilson said.

Of the 600 employers covered by the initiation of bargaining, 35 have not participated in the bargaining as required by law. NZNO will be taking legal action against these employers.
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