New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) midwives covered by the Midwives Pay Equity claim voted overwhelmingly to accept a final proposed settlement agreement from Te Whatu Ora.
The ballot which closed at noon 6 October also included Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) members.
NZNO Chief Executive Paul Goulter said this was a major milestone in the history of midwifery in Aotearoa New Zealand and was a long overdue step towards addressing a significant gender-based inequality midwives faced in their work every day.
"It is also just a beginning, and we look forward to working with Te Whatu Ora to continue addressing all the gender-based discriminations nurses, health care assistants, midwives and kaimahi hauora face."
NZNO would also like to acknowledge Minister Ayesha Verrall’s initiative in bringing this claim to settlement as she did in the Te Whatu Ora nursing Pay Equity, Paul Goulter said.
The settlement agreed today includes an additional lump sum of $15,000 pro-rated for those employed during 1 January 2020 to 3 April 2023, and increases on the hourly rate which will be back dated to 4 April 2022. An interim payment was ratified at the end of June and those payments have been made to midwives.
The outcome of the Pay Equity process will now become part of the collective agreement negotiations with Te Whatu Ora.
Paul Goulter said the next step was Pay Parity as the need across all nursing and midwifery sectors was well-established.
"We will not rest until it is achieved. We know that midwives who are not covered by the Te Whatu Ora Pay Equity settlement will be watching this outcome with keen interest.
"Pay Parity is a matter of wage justice and essential to NZNO’s Maranga Mai! campaign which calls for every nurse everywhere to be paid the same based on their experience and qualifications."