An initial agreement has been reached between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District Health Boards in the bargaining for Clerical and Administration Pay Equity.
PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies and DHB lead Chief Executive Jim Green say the agreement is the first step towards a pay equity settlement and starts putting right the long-standing undervaluation of an essential DHB workforce.
“When finalised next year, this will be the first time these workers are covered by one national pay structure with consistent rates nationwide,” says Ms Davies.
“It’s a tremendous achievement, made possible by the hard work and courageous campaigning of admin and clerical workers across New Zealand.”
Mr Green says ratifying and implementing the agreement is a hugely complicated process.
“There are currently more than 1,500 unique job titles with a very wide range of pay rates across 20 DHBs. When we’re finished, we’ll have consistent national pay rates, and a job banding structure with rates that address the undervaluation of this workforce.”
“In the meantime, there will be an interim lift in pay rates for more than 8,500 DHB clerical and administration workers. This is a step towards pay equity for a workforce that is 92 per cent female and has been historically undervalued.”
Mr Green says the interim lift will increase pay for most workers, who currently receive less than the agreed pay equity rates. As much as $2,500 a year will be added to their salaries.
“I want to congratulate all involved in reaching this major milestone. Clerical and administration workers are essential to the smooth running of DHBs and supporting the patient services DHBs provide. We look forward to continuing to progress the work towards a pay equity settlement in partnership with the PSA.”
After report back meetings conclude, PSA members will vote on whether to accept the offer as a variation to their collective employment agreements.
“This is a historic first step toward ensuring DHB clerical and admin workers get the pay and respect they deserve,” says Ms Davies.
“We look forward to sharing and discussing details of this agreement at staff meetings over the weeks ahead, and we strongly encourage all workers to attend.”