Equal Pay for DHB Nurses

Claimant interviews are now completed, and the comparator phase is set to start in January 2020

We have made significant progress in our claim in the last three months. All job holder interviews relating to roles covered by the PSA Nursing MECAs have been completed.

The interviews involved nursing members in a number of different roles such as public health nurses, mental health nurses (inpatient, community, forensic) and enrolled nurses and mental health assistants. The interviews involved both the PSA and NZNO members. Other roles ranging from nurse practitioners, charge nurses to specialist nurses were also interviewed. In all 137 members in 20 different roles were interviewed. 

Role Profiles

The interview notes were collated, and summary profiles have been developed for the 20 roles. Masters students from Victoria University were trained to create the role profiles. The DHB and Union Bipartite Oversight Group have briefly reviewed the profiles and have concluded they have captured a very good descriptions of the roles.

The role profiles will be formally verified by nursing staff from the DHB who understand the roles, but are not in them or reporting to someone in the role. Both the union and DHB representatives are in the process of identifying staff who can undertake the validation process. Once the roles have been validated, they will be assessed using the agreed assessment tools and processes.

Comparator Roles

We have identified potential male comparators for a range of roles using the following criteria:

  • is male dominated, or has been historically male dominated
  • has a sufficient sample size (eg over 50 in one organisation)
  • may be covered by a collective agreement
  • work and remuneration information is readily accessible
  • has a similar qualification or skill level grouping
  • has similar entry criteria for the role

A process to identify a range of employers where such roles may exist is underway. Once identified we will be approaching the comparator employers. Getting comparators is perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming part of this process as we do not have total control over it and are dependent on the good will of the comparator organisations. We will be undertaking a similar interview and profile establishment process for comparators as we have done for the nursing roles. 

The Government has set up the State Sector Pay Equity Governance and Assurance Group comprising representatives from State Services Commission (SSC), Treasury, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and relevant government ministries (MOH or Education) to oversee all the claims.

The Government has also appointed a Crown Negotiator who will be working with them, the DHBs, and the governance group to settle the claims once undervaluation has been identified. While the setting up of the group caused some delays, we are confident it will speed up the settlement phase. It also shows the Government’s commitment to dealing with our pay equity claims as efficiently as possible.