Workplace Representation

Advice and representation readily available. The society has an extensive experience delivering representation, solutions and advice for employment, professional and related matters.

Effective support and solutions

We provide a full range of workplace representation, employment law and bargaining services, including reviewing and vetting employment agreements and other contracts, negotiating agreements and representing members with all types of workplace issues.

This includes representation for workplace, disciplinary processes and employment problems including disciplinary interviews, negotiated settlements, restructures and redundancies, plus personal grievance matters. Highly skilled at solving problems informally, without being unduly adversarial, and where possible at the operational level.

We handle both individual and collective employment agreements. Some of our workplace representation is now undertaken through our principal industrial arm Te Uniana o NSNZ. Te Uniana o NSNZ is a registered union. Te Uniana o NSNZ is part of the Society and an application for membership of the Society serves as an application for membership of Te Uniana o NSNZ. No extra fees (direct or indirect) apply.

General information on what usually happens if there is a multi-employer collective employment agreement (MECA) negotiated by another union (as in Te Whatu Ora / DHBs) is here, plus a sample a Te Whatu Ora offer letter (2018) when there is a new MECA, as well as sample DHB IEA (2018 - 2021) based on the MECA.  

Our members in DHBs are employed on individual employment agreements (IEAs), rather than the MECA. These IEAs have always been derived from the DHB MECA offering the same or substantially the same terms and conditions.  Changes to the DHB MECA are not automatically passed on to nurses on IEAs, however each time there is a new MECA, DHBs have always updated the IEA terms to match or substantially match the MECA.   

What has happened with the most recent DHB MECA and IEA updates?  The process of offering IEA variations has taken longer than usual.  Here is an example of of standard MECA-derived IEA, offer exactly the same conditions as the latest MECA and with the same effective date (backdating).  A few DHBs had a slightly different approach; a standard IEA with the same terms and conditions as the MECA, but the effective is a month month later.   

At some point we may do a separate MECA or collective employment agreement (CEA) for members employed by Te Whatu Ora (formerly DHBs).   

New employees are automatically on the MECA or other collective employment agreement for their first 30 days, regardless of what union they belong to or whether they belong to any union.  If they do not opt to join the union that negotiated the MECA (or other collective) within the 30 day-period they are automatically placed on an IEA that must have conditions and terms that are no less favourable than the MECA or other collective.  

Pay equity (PE) claims are covered by special legislation.  By law the following applies: 

·        Everyone in a workplace will receive the same benefits of pay equity settlement whether or not they belong to the union that negotiated the PE claim.   This includes the new rates from the same dates and all lump sumsMore details on this are outlined in this TAS pay equity notice and here.

·        The union negotiating the claim cannot require an employee to join that union to get the same increase and they cannot charge or request a fee of any sort from a non-member.  But they are permitted to ask for a donation, but not a fee.

·        Also, all nurses in the workplace are permitted to vote on the pay equity claim and settlement even if they are not a member of the union that negotiated that pay equity case.  This is unique to the PE claim.

·        Late 2021 nurses under the MECA received two 'advance payments' in anticipation of the settlement.  When PE is finally settled all other nurses will receive these payments, as well as any top up, and the full benefits of the PE settlement.  

The PE claim is still yet to be formally settled.  An offer was accepted in principle on 22 December 2021, which was scheduled for a ratification vote in late April 2022.  However, the ratification vote was halted, and as a result of a poll of all Te Whatu Ora (formerly DHB) nursing staff the claim has been referred to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA). 

Effective support and solutions