An historic agreement has been ratified addressing a long-standing undervaluation of a workforce that is critical to the smooth running of our hospitals and the delivery of healthcare.
DHB spokespeople Dale Oliff and Jim Green say the settlement by DHBs, the PSA and the Government covers more than 10,000 people in the Health Administration workforce across District Health Boards.
“Over 90 percent of the people in these key administration and clerical roles are women, and their work has been historically undervalued – this settlement puts it right,” says Ms Oliff.
“It’s been an enormous undertaking to get to this point and it is important to acknowledge the tireless work of the PSA and the DHBs’ team over the four years this work has taken.”
Ms Oliff says the new pay system agreed with the PSA provides a standard structure for more than 1500 roles across 20 DHBs with previously widely variable rates.
The increases for individuals vary greatly, with people on lower starting points seeing substantial increases while those who were being paid closer to the final agreed rates receiving smaller increases.
The following are examples of individual increases on annual full time pay rates for people who translate to the new top-step rate – including a $2,500 adjustment paid since late 2020:
• Ward Clerk, South Island: $48,740 to $68,340 – an increase of 40%
• Clinical Coder, Auckland: $51,753 to $69,340 – an increase of 34%
• Health Records Clerk North Island: $50,840 to $57,630 – an increase of 13%
Each person covered will also receive a $2500 pro-rated lump sum recognising the delay since the interim pay adjustment of 30 November 2020.
“The settlement provides something this group has never had before,” says Mr Green, “consistent national pay rates as part of a job banding structure.
“Just as importantly, it also provides a process to maintain pay equity in the future.
“The union has worked in partnership with the DHBs to reach this outcome, which will have a substantial impact on lifting the pay of a low paid, female-dominated workforce.
“It has been a long time in the making and I want to congratulate those who’ve worked long and hard to get us to this point. It would not have been possible without the commitment and goodwill of all those involved, including the Government’s support for addressing this issue.
“The Health Administration workforce makes a critical contribution to health services for New Zealanders – this pay equity settlement recognises that and will make a significant difference to them, their whānau and the wider community.”
Mr Green says this is the first of four pay equity settlements in the health sector with agreements expected in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health within the next 12 months.