Pay equity deal for thousands of health admin workers reached

Vandhna Bhan
Source: 1News

After four years of negotiations a historic pay equity settlement has finally been reached for more than 10,000 people working in health administration roles across district health boards.

Jim Green, a spokesperson for the DHBs says: “Over 90% of the people in these key administration and clerical roles are women, and their work has been historically undervalued – this settlement puts it right. It’s been an enormous undertaking to get to this point."

This new pay system for clerical workers, agreed on by the PSA union, provides a standard structure for more than 1500 roles across 20 DHB’s that previously had widely variable rates.

For example on individual increases, a ward clerk in the South Island will go from an annual pay packet of $48,740 to $68,340 - an increase of 40%. A clinical coder in Auckland will go from $51,753 to $69,340 - an increase of 34% in annual full time pay. Health record clerks across the North Island who were on $50,840 will now be paid $57,630 annually.

Each person covered in this settlement will also receive a $2,500 pro-rated lump sum.

"The increases for individuals vary greatly with people on lower starting points seeing substantial increases while those who were being paid closer to the final agreed rates receiving smaller increases," said Green.

He says the settlement not only provides something this group has never seen before – consistent national pay rates as part of a job banding structure, but it also provides a process to maintain pay equity in the future.

The PSA union has been working with DHBs on this alongside negotiating other pay equity settlements for various roles in DHB’s.

Green said this is the first of four pay equity settlements in the health sector with agreements expected in nursing, midwifery and Allied Health within the next 12 months.