Pay Equity

Update regarding pay equity interim settlement and former employees of Te Whatu Ora

We have been working through the formal dispute raised by MERAS on behalf of members who are ex-employees of Te Whatu Ora (DHBs) in regard to their entitlement to the lump sum payments outlined in the interim pay equity settlement.

We are pleased to report some progress on this matter while acknowledging this does not address the issue for all those who are no longer working at Te Whatu Ora.

Please note this only applies to the interim pay equity settlement and all former employees who worked for a DHB (Te Whatu Ora) after January 2020 are entitled to the payments in the full pay equity settlement.

In terms of the interim settlement and $10,000 (pro-rated) lump sum we can confirm the following:

Those who worked for a DHB/Te Whatu Ora between 1 January 2020 and now who left their employment after the 4th of April 2022 are eligible to apply for their payments via this link

For those who worked after January 2020 and left prior to the 4th of April 2022 we have an on-going dispute for these payments. If you fit into this category please email MERAS Membership confirming which DHB/District you worked for and your contact details to assist us in assessing our next steps on this matter.

Poster: Registering as a ‘former’ employee of Te Whatu Ora
for Holidays Act payments 

Please share this far and wide to enable all former Te Whatu Ora employees to register to start the process of getting back their holidays act entitlements.  Don’t forget that these entitlements are going back as far as 2010 and if you still work for Te Whatu Ora but changed districts then you will need to register to get what you are owed from your former DHB/district. With over 60,000 people registered already there is no better time than now to make sure you have registered.

Final Midwifery Pay Equity Payment Application Form for Previous Employees


Details of the Interim Settlement June 2023:

Interim Te Whatu Ora Pay Equity settlement summary June 2023

Pay Equity Interim Settlement Frequently Asked Questions

Memorandum of Understanding


What is Pay Equity?

  • Pay equity is about equal pay for work of equal value.
  • Women have historically been employed in a limited range of occupations, where the tasks and skills required are seen as an extension of traditional unpaid work of women.
  • “Women’s work” has historically been underpaid because our work is not valued as highly as work predominantly performed by men.
  • Midwives have been underpaid and undervalued because they are almost all women and they were seen as a sub-set of nurses, who also suffer from historical undervaluing.
  • Despite the 1990 Nurses Amendment Act where midwifery was recognised as an autonomous profession, employed midwives’ pay has been linked to that of nurses through DHBs’ wage fixing mechanisms.
  • MERAS has challenged this in successive bargaining for the DHBs’ MECA. However, in June 2018, MERAS lodged a claim for pay equity with the DHBs.
  • The MERAS Pay Equity claim was accepted by the DHBs and a process was undertaken with the DHBs and NZNO to evaluate the work of midwives and that of occupations that are predominantly male-dominated produce the evidence that midwives have indeed been underpaid.

Pay Equity presentation MERAS Conference 29 November 2022

Webinar session from MERAS National Conference with Simon Mitchell explaining our legal strategy,

Midwifery Pay Equity presentation – 7 April 2022


MERAS and NZNO pay equity oversight

As well as the DHBs’ pay equity team and MERAS and NZNO officials, each union has workplace representatives on an oversight group that meets monthly to provide input into the pay equity process.

Left to right: Leila Sparrow, Karen Gray, Elizabeth Winterbee (all MERAS) and Sue McNabb (NZNO)

Principles of pay equity and how this relates to the pay equity process

Pay Equity Terms of Reference

Webinar about pay equity assessment process

New equal pay law will help fix the gender pay imbalance – NZCTU Media Release 24 July 2020

Creating a more equal society and addressing systemic sexism and discrimination in the workplace has always been the goal of the union movement. “The cause of the gender pay imbalance, which has resulted in a system where employers pay women less than men, needs a multi-faceted approach to fix. The passing last night of The Equal Pay Amendment Act has secured a sustainable and practical way forward to provide an effective process for achieving equal pay for women,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“Working women have been campaigning to equalise the gender pay imbalance for decades. The passing of new equal pay law today provides structure and support in fixing the systemic problem of paying women less because of their gender.”

“When people come together in union to solve an issue they are more powerful and effective than when facing the issue alone. Collectivism is a fundamental principle of the union movement and this is why collective bargaining is always part of our solution. Ensuring that people wanting to take a collective equal pay claims are supported by unions is consistent with the mahi that unions do.”

“Working women in unions have successfully secured equal pay settlements for almost 80,000 people in the last 4 years – for care and support workers, school support workers, social workers at Oranga Tamariki and teacher aides. There are more equal pay claims in progress. The process by which these outcomes have been achieved are established in the Equal Pay Amendment Act which has just passed. This is proof of what can be achieved when people come together and work as a collective for equity. Collective bargaining is a mechanism to achieve gender equity and fairness.”

“It has been a long journey to get to this place. Ensuring that meaningful, long lasting progress is achieved has taken time and required work from many organisations and individuals. The next challenge is to ensure that the Act is used to its full potential; ensuring that pay discrimination based on gender is something for the history books,” Wagstaff said.

ENDS

MERAS Pay Equity Updates

Pay Equity Update April 2023

Pay Equity Update January 2023

Pay Equity update October 2022

Pay Equity update – June 2022

MERAS Pay Equity update – May 2022

MERAS Pay Equity Update April 2022

MERAS Pay Equity Update January 2022

MERAS Pay Equity Update March 2021

MERAS Pay Equity update November 2020

MERAS Pay Equity update June 2020

MERAS Pay Equity update February 2020

MERAS Pay Equity update July 2019

MECA and Pay Equity update April 2019