Government and unions commit to working together for health workforce

HSRA signing Nov 2020

MERAS is now a signatory to the highest level engagement between CTU unions, the Ministry of Health, Minister of Health, and DHBs CEs, GMsHR and Chairs.

The Minister of Health Hon Andrew Little and senior union and government leaders have renewed their commitment to the Health Sector Relationship Agreement (HSRA), which provides a forum for progressing matters critical to the success of our health and disability workforce.

New Terms of Reference for the three-way partnership were signed by the Minister, unions and government agencies in November, building on previous agreements.

The HSRA is based on shared commitments to a strong public health system that delivers excellent and equitable health outcomes and an exemplary working environment. The Agreement expresses a shared sense of purpose and provides a framework for exploring and addressing common interests and issues. The signatories commit to meeting regularly ensuring practical work is done to further the goals of the agreement.

Health Minister Andrew Little noted the importance of the health sector workforce. “It’s great to see a commitment from unions, DHBs and the Ministry of Health to working in a certain way consistent with values we want to see underpinning the health sector. “

Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said that the Agreement was extremely important and would enable all signatories to extend themselves and work together collaboratively.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the HSRA provides clarity about how the health sector will work together. “This relationship should be the basis on which we achieve progress and create solutions.”

Former Chair of the DHB Chairs, Jenny Black, said the DHBs know they can’t do anything without their workforce.  “We need to make sure we are all working together for the best outcomes.”

The Agreement signatories will meet monthly, and working groups will be formed as needed.

View the Health Sector Relationship Agreement

Photo above Left to right: Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health; Richard Wagstaff, President, Council of Trade Unions; Kate Clapperton-Rees (standing), Executive Director, Specialty Trainees of New Zealand (SToNZ);  Memo Musa (standing), Chief Executive, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO); Hon Andrew Little, Minster of Health; Jill Ovens (Standing), Co-leader, MERAS;  Jenny Black (sitting), former Chair of DHB Chairs;  Sarah Dalton (standing), Executive Director, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists;  Kerry Davies, National Secretary, Public Services Association (PSA);  Rosemary Clements (standing), Lead DHB Chief Executive Workforce; Annie Newman, Assistant National Secretary, E tū.