Equal Pay for DHB Admin & Clerical


In April 2018 PSA lodged a pay equity claim on behalf of over 6700 clerical/administration members who work in our DHBs. Read on to find out more.

Signature DHB Admin Heart of the Hospital 4

DHB Administration and Clerical workers are at the Heart of the Hospital, keeping hospitals running with their vital roles behind the scenes. 

In April 2018 PSA lodged a pay equity claim on behalf of over 6700 clerical/administration members who work in our DHBs. A year later in April 2019, DHB Admin workers presented the Heart of the Hospital petition to parliament, with over 12,800 signatures. 

The petitions called for the gender pay gap to be closed, and for pay increases that recognize the skill and expertise of DHB Admin workers alongside the historical undervaluation of that skill and expertise.

Update: 30 November, 2020

An initial agreement has been reached between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District Health Boards in the bargaining for Clerical and Administration Pay Equity.

PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies and DHB lead Chief Executive Jim Green say the agreement is the first step towards a pay equity settlement and starts putting right the long-standing undervaluation of an essential DHB workforce.

“When finalised next year, this will be the first time these workers are covered by one national pay structure with consistent rates nationwide,” says Ms Davies.

“It’s a tremendous achievement, made possible by the hard work and courageous campaigning of admin and clerical workers across New Zealand.”

Mr Green says ratifying and implementing the agreement is a hugely complicated process.

“There are currently more than 1,500 unique job titles with a very wide range of pay rates across 20 DHBs. When we’re finished, we'll have consistent national pay rates, and a job banding structure with rates that address the undervaluation of this workforce.”

“In the meantime, there will be an interim lift in pay rates for more than 8,500 DHB clerical and administration workers. This is a step towards pay equity for a workforce that is 92 per cent female and has been historically undervalued.”

Mr Green says the interim lift will increase pay for most workers, who currently receive less than the agreed pay equity rates. As much as $2,500 a year will be added to their salaries.

“I want to congratulate all involved in reaching this major milestone. Clerical and administration workers are essential to the smooth running of DHBs and supporting the patient services DHBs provide. We look forward to continuing to progress the work towards a pay equity settlement in partnership with the PSA.”

After report back meetings conclude, PSA members will vote on whether to accept the offer as a variation to their collective employment agreements.

“This is a historic first step toward ensuring DHB clerical and admin workers get the pay and respect they deserve,” says Ms Davies.

“We look forward to sharing and discussing details of this agreement at staff meetings over the weeks ahead, and we strongly encourage all workers to attend.”

Update: 24 June, 2020

We were due to go into the bargaining phase of our Admin Pay Equity Claim in March this year, until Covid-19 struck and the negotiations were unfortunately delayed as we were unable to get sign off from Government.

We have continued to have weekly meetings with the Crown Negotiator and DHB representatives to ensure we keep the pressure on to get into the negotiation phase. We have been told that we should have sign off from Government by mid-July to commence the formal negotiations and will hopefully have an outcome shortly after that. If there are further delays with this claim, we will be coming back out to members to put further pressure on the Government to get this claim resolved.

Update: 13 February 2020

PSA and DHB Negotiating Teams met on 4 th and 5 of February to commence discussions to settle our equal pay claim on behalf of DHB admin and clerical workers across all the DHBs. We are now into the final phase of the Pay Equity Claims process.

The timeline we had set in February to enter into the formal negotiations have been delayed as the DHBs bargaining strategy will now be signed off by the Government in early March. In anticipation of the strategy being signed off we have set aside several days in March for bargaining.

Update: November 2019

We are happy to advise that the PSA DHB Clerical Administration Pay Equity Claim has reached a significant milestone.

We have established the undervaluation of DHB admin workers in comparison to other comparator roles - this means we have now completed the second phase of the process and are preparing to enter the final phase, the settlement of the claim.

This achievement is one of many milestones since the claim was first raised in November 2018, representing 7000 PSA members. The claim was raised under the process recommended by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay Principles. Negotiations regarding undervaluation of DHB Admin & Clerical workers at the Heart of the Hospital are set to begin February 2020.

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DHB Clerical & Admin workers know what it’s like to work under pressure;
now we need to turn the tables and put this pressure on DHB CEOs and Members of Parliament.


While we have been making good progress and received feedback that DHBs would like to make us a formal offer, we have now been advised that they are unable to do so under their current mandate.

Although we are very near to getting our claim settled, but we need your help to get it over the line this side of the election.


1) Pink Tuesdays for Equal Pay

Help us make every Tuesday Equal Pay Tuesday. Show your support for the Clerical/Admin Equal Pay claim each Tuesday by wearing pink, putting up this poster, and making our message heard. 

 Make sure to take photos of your Equal Pay Tuesdays and share these on social media (and/or send them to comms@psa.org.nz)

2) Send a letter and/or email

We’ve written a letter for you to post and/or email to your DHBs CEO, requesting they use their influence to encourage the Ministry of Health to settle the Admin and Clerical workers claim with urgency.

Download the PDF version here
Download the Word Doc version here

3) Post on our Virtual Noticeboard

Whether it’s sending a letter, taking a photo, talking to an MP, or you just want to post a positive message, make sure to share as much as you can to our virtual Clerical/Admin Equal Pay Claim noticeboard.  You can also share the link to the virtual noticeboard far and wide so we can get messages of support for our claim: padlet.com/NZPSA/AdminClerical  


Engage with members and post updates via our DHB Admin Facebook group.  

f logo RGB Hex Blue 513To join, go to www.facebook.com/groups/dhbadmin/ or search for DHB Admin - Heart of the Hospital

Please note that this is a secret group, so you will not be shown in this group to others unless they are also members. 

I Support DHB Admin Clerical CopyOn 6th August 2020, a letter was addressed to MPs across the country inviting them to confirm their public support for our equal pay claim. MP names will be added to the list below as they pledge their support for pay equity for DHB Admin and Clerical workers.

Stand with DHB Admin Clerical 2You can also click here or below to read the 13 August letter from Chris Hipkins, Minister of Health, in support of resolution for our pay claim: 

CH Letter of Support

Representing 7000 members PSA raised the claim on Administrators Appreciation Day, which marks the massive contribution admin staff around New Zealand make to their workplaces.

"DHB clerical and administration staff are among the poorest-paid workers in the health system, and around 90 per cent of them are women," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"They keep the system running, but most are paid little more than the minimum wage because their jobs have been considered ‘women’s work’.

"This claim, raised under the process recommended by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay Principles, will set about ending this once and for all."

The claim has been endorsed by nearly 5000 PSA members working in DHBs. Here you can keep up today with how the Campaign is progressing, and ways to be involved.

Read the claim here, or the appendix to the claim here.

Pay Equity Bargaining Process

Pay equity bargaining is different from the processes we normally use for MECA bargaining. This bargaining will be led by a Crown Negotiator who has been appointed by the Government for this purpose, assisted by DHB representatives. The Oversight Group comprising representatives from SCC Treasury, Prime Ministers Office and Ministry of Health will also oversee this process.

The other feature that is different from the normal MECA bargaining process is that that we have jointly, with the DHBs, worked through a very long process to complete the assessment of 13 roles that are representative of the work our clerical admin members do in the DHBs. We have also completed the assessment of the comparator roles and have determined that there is comparability between the work of our clerical admin members and the comparator roles.

We have also collected remuneration data for both the claimant and the comparators and by analysing this data it has been established that, on average, the claimant roles are undervalued. We will be negotiating to remediate the undervaluation.

Pay Equity Bargaining Objectives

We have identified the following broad issues that we will want dealt with through this bargaining process:

  • Establish equal pay rates based on finding through the Assessment Phase of the pay equity process.
  • An agreed date from which the pay increases will be effective from to correct the undervaluation
  • Development of a national pay scale and progression mechanism that caters for the positions covered by our current MECAs
  • Establishment of a pay classification system and its link to the pay scale that caters for the positions covered by our current MECAs
  • Develop a process for implementing the agreed outcomes on a joint basis that includes dispute resolution and review mechanisms
  • Develop a mechanism and timeframe for resolving the detail of a national, or at least RONZ and Auckland MECA
  • Develop a process and mechanism to maintain and monitor the pay classification and salary structure for DHB clerical admin

A Bargaining Team comprising 1 PSA delegates per region and 2 Organisers have been established to lead the negotiations. They comprise:

Bronni Mercier

Northern Region

Debra Williams

Midlands Region

Jennifer Rankin

Lower North Island

Nancy McShane

PSA Women's Committee

Jeanette Wilkinson

South Island

Sue McCullough

National Organiser

Ashok Shankar

National Organiser

The Bargaining Team will be further assisted by the Advisory/Reference Group that is being established representing each of the 4 Clerical Administration MECA.



Back row Nancy McShane , Ashok Shankar (PSA Organiser), Deb Williams, Sue McCullough (PSA Organiser) Bronni Mercier, Lisa Heap (PSA Equal Pay Advisor)

Front Jacky Maaka, Jeanette Wilkinson, Jennifer Rankin, Jaime Hewitson Townley

Absent: Deb Augur and Jo Taylor (PSA Campaigns Organiser)


Here you will find all the things you need to show your support for the Equal Pay Admin Clerical DHB Claim 

Worth 100% Logo

Logo Worth 101


Worth 100% Logo - Download



Stand with Admin/Clerical Poster


I Stand with DHB Admin & Clerical - Posters
(Pink on white, & white on pink)





Sign up sheets

Sign Up: Equal Pay Advocate

Sign Up: Equal Pay Group Membership Form (2018)


Heart of the Hospital                                        Worth 100% 

Poster photo

 DHB: Meetings in your area                       DHB: Equal Pay Meetings

Posters vs 3

Admin/Clerical are worth 100%