The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) has released the full but partially redacted version of an independent review into its bargaining processes for the 2017/18 District Health Board (DHB) Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA). An independent review was commissioned due to the lengthy and complex nature of the negotiations and NZNO wanted to learn what had gone well and would could be improved for future bargaining.

The final independent review report was received by NZNO in late July and NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa said the decision to release it fairly quickly in full was due to the high level of interest in its findings on the part of NZNO members and the public; and because NZNO wanted to be transparent about what the report found.

The released report includes the list of recommendations and NZNO’s response to them. Portions of the report itself have been redacted to protect the anonymity of both contributors to the review and the confidentiality of NZNO staff.

“We believe the review has been thorough and that it is very clear about what went well and about what NZNO can improve on for future bargaining. The report makes 15 recommendations and I am pleased to announce that we have adopted them all and that we’re already working to implement them.

“We accept we need to do some things better, but I think it is important that we don’t lose sight of the significant improvements we did achieve for nurses in 2018. I am very proud of the negotiating team and the report also clearly upholds their skills, experience and professionalism.”

He said that those improvements included pay rises of up to 15 per cent; Ministry and DHB commitment to safer staffing and the employment of nearly 500 new nurses; and a commitment to pay equity by the end of this year that would bring nursing wages into line with those of similar male-dominated professions.

“As an organisation, and as a result of improvements we will make arising from the review, NZNO feels very confident about its planning for the 2020 DHB-MECA negotiations, which is already underway.”

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