Newsletter for NZNO members working in DHBs April 2014
A message from DHB industrial adviser, Lesley Harry Autumn 2014 began with nurses at Dunedin Hospital telling their management they have had enough of understaffing. Over 300 members attended a meeting with management and stressed the need for urgent change. As a result of members speaking out, a joint NZNO action plan was developed which included an undertaking to recruit nurses urgently. The concerns raised by members in Dunedin are shared by members up and down the country. We encourage members to discuss concerns with NZNO staff and delegates and take their concerns to management. Keep a paper trail of the concerns raised with management and donâ€™t accept budget cuts and excuses. There is no justification for unsafe staffing. There is no justification for a delay in filling nursing vacancies. There is no justification for cuts to nursing positions when nurses are saying they are already overworked. There is no justification for senior nurses being required to do more with less. Weâ€™ll keep you up to date with progress at Dunedin DHB on the NZNO website and facebook pages.
Progress report Progress on CCDM implementation in all DHBs is slowly progressing. Trendcare is the only validated acuity tool currently available in NZ and yet some DHBs (WDHB & CMDHB) have decided to implement an acuity tool that has not been vaildated, which is inconsistent with the CCDM program. We have also updated our CarePoint campaign website www.nzno.org.nz/carepoint If you would like more information on CarePoint and the CCDM programme, please contact your delegate or organiser.
Who is doing what? 14 DHBs have TrendCare ͙͙ Northland ͙͙ Waitemata ͙͙ Bay of Plenty ͙͙ Tairawhiti ͙͙ Taranaki ͙͙ Mid Central ͙͙ Hawkes Bay ͙͙ Whanganui ͙͙ Hutt Valley ͙͙ Wairarapa ͙͙ West Coast ͙͙ Nelson Marlborough ͙͙ South Canterbury ͙͙ Southern
11 DHBs are actively implementing CCDM ͙͙ Northland ͙͙ Waitemata ͙͙ Bay of Plenty ͙͙ Tairawhiti (with RTC) ͙͙ Mid Central ͙͙ Whanganui ͙͙ Taranaki ͙͙ Hutt Valley ͙͙ Nelson Marlborough ͙͙ South Canterbury ͙͙ Southern ADHB is implementing TrendCare currently and will be starting CCDM later this year.
Bad medicine “We need a law that strengthens collective bargaining”
Employment Relations Bill The Bill has passed it second reading. We don’t yet know how DHBs will respond once the ERA Bill is passed into law. What we do know is that is that the new law will make it harder to secure a decent outcome for members. NZNO will be seeking an undertaking from DHBs that they will bargain for a national MECA in good faith. We expect the negotiation process to be tough. Health unions currently in negotiations have been offered a miserly 0.7%. No doubt your negotiating team will be calling on members to support safe staffing, progressing the implementation of the CCDM program in all DHBs as well as decent pay increase.
Access to professional development leave One of the issues raised at last negotiations is the trouble members have accessing professional development leave. We hear through the grapevine that leave requests are being denied due to short staffing and funding constraints. Access to professional development leave is an entitlement not a ‘nice to have’. Dealing with the issue on a national level has proven difficult due to inconsistent practices across the sector as well as difficulties accessing relevant information from each DHB. NZNO staff and delegates are evaluating professional leave issues at a local level. If you have had problems accessing professional development leave we would like to hear from you. Please discuss with your delegate or contact our call centre on 0800 28 38 48
It is Election year! Make sure you vote in the 2014 General Election The 2014 General Election is on 20 September 2014. You will be able to vote on Election Day and during the two weeks before. The election gives us an important voice in the future direction of Aotearoa New Zealand. At the last election, over 800,000 New Zealanders did not vote when they could have. We don’t want that to happen again!
Enrolling to vote To make sure that you can take part in the 2014 General Election, the first step is to enrol to vote or check and update your enrolment details. If you are not enrolled, you can not vote. It is really easy to enrol to vote. If you have moved recently, for example, it is also easy to check your enrolment details and update these. If your enrolment details are not correct, then your vote might not count. The Electoral Commission enrols people to vote. To enrol to vote either: ͙͙ Text 3676 your name and address and they will send an enrolment pack. They send a confirmation text too. You can update your enrolment details using this pack. ͙͙ Call 0800 36 76 56 (24 Hour Electoral Commission Freephone) and they will send out a enrolment pack. They can talk about your eligibility to vote in the 2014 General Election and help you to update your enrolment details. ͙͙ Go to their website www.elections.org.nz to enrol on-line. You can also check or update your enrolment details on-line too. ͙͙ You can pick up enrolment forms from NZ Post Shops.
Qualifying to vote You qualified to enrol to vote if: ͙͙ You are 18 years and older, and ͙͙ You are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and (call 0800 36 76 56 for more information) ͙͙ You lived in New Zealand for one year or more (call 0800 36 76 56 for more information) Once you have enrolled to vote, talk to your family and friends and make sure they are enrolled to vote. It is your right to vote in 2014 General Election so make sure you do!
Political neutrality This year you will hear a lot about the need for public servants to maintain political neutrality. Here’s some advice on political neutrality which is consistent with the State Sector Commissioners guidance. Being politically neutral in carrying out your job is a requirement of all public servants – and is sometimes expressed as ‘Keep politics out of your job, and your job out of politics’. However this does not mean that public servants cannot hold personal political views or be politically active; it means that they must balance the rights that they have as citizens to hold and express political views with a responsibility to be politically neutral in their job. NZNO supports the guidance that the State Service Commissioner (SSC) issues to the agencies that fall within his mandate on integrity and conduct.
Participation in NZNO political activity It is your right to participate in and support NZNO political activity, provided the principles of political neutrality are observed. For example: ͙͙ You may attend rallies in your own time (e.g. lunch hour) ͙͙ You should not wear anything that identifies your employer at a political rally or meeting ͙͙ You should not disclose any work information that is not already in the public domain ͙͙ You must not display any material about union political activity in a public area of the workplace, or give it to service users ͙͙ You might choose not to mention where you work on your Facebook profile if you intend to make political comments.
Discussion about political activity with your employer The SSC guidance says in several places that employees ‘may wish’ to discuss political engagement with the employer. It is up to you; you do not have to. However, you are required to exercise your judgement about what level of political activity is appropriate, and you may wish to discuss this with your employer on a ‘no surprises’ basis. Or you may wish to talk to your delegate / organiser first. Check out the SSC guidance, and any guidance issued by your employer Make sure you know what the guidance says; and in your employer guidance look out for (and let your delegate/organiser know about) anything that emphasises the responsibilities of the employee without also balancing this with the rights of the employee. The SSC guidance covers a wide range of the issues that state servants must bear in mind.
DHB MECA 2014/15 negotiations Your MECA expires on 28 February 2015. Planning is already underway with negotiations anticipated to start in November this year. The National Delegates Committee will meet in May and on the agenda is the process for delegates selection for the negotiating team. We need to ensure good geographical representation as well as all the main groups of members represented. Relativity research will be carried out on wage rates of the benchmark occupational groups such as teachers and police. Members will be able to provide input into claims/issues for negotiations via a questionnaire later this year. Members meetings will be held to discuss and endorse the issues as well as the delegate negotiating team. If you have an issue you want addressed at MECA negotiations make sure you canvas your colleagues’ support for the issue, as the numbers supporting each issue helps us to establish bargaining priorities.
Workplaces have a role in reducing domestic violence Green MP Jan Logie’s Members Bill is a practical way to help people who are experiencing domestic violence. Domestic violence has a huge impact in the workplace productivity and turnover. Research by the Public Service Association shows that employment security is critical to reduce the effects of and in finding a way out of, domestic violence Although it’s important not to stereotype victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, statistics show that 1 in 10 New Zealand women have experienced domestic over the past year. The impact of domestic violence on families and communities is well documented and the bill aims to support workplaces in the reduction of domestic violence and provide victims of domestic violence with practical support in the form of leave and expert assistance.
Importance of employment to escaping and recovering from domestic violence By supporting victims to remain in paid employment, workplaces can assist victims on their pathway out of violence and keep the whole workplace safer. Women who are subjected to domestic violence generally have a more disrupted work history, are on lower personal incomes, have had to change jobs frequently and are more often employed in casual and part-time work than women with no experience of violence. Stable employment gives victims the economic resources and social support to escape and recover from domestic violence.
What will the Bill do? The Bill will do four main things: ͙͙ it will protect victims from discrimination on the basis of having experienced domestic violence, ͙͙ it will allow victims of domestic violence to request flexible working arrangements from their employer if needed, ͙͙ it will allow victims of domestic violence to take up to 10 days leave a year related to the violence, and ͙͙ it will clarify that domestic violence is a hazard in the workplace that needs to be managed by the employer like other hazards.
On call Members tell us they are having to do an increasing amount of on call work. The 40 percent formula for how many hours staff may be rostered on call means a full time nurse may be rostered on call for 150.6 hours over a three week period. A part time nurse who works 0.6 FTE may be rostered on call for 171 hours over a three week period. DHBs tell us they are working within those limits but thatâ€™s not good enough. Either DHBs make healthy rostering a priority so members are able to have sufficient time away from work or the formula must change. Unfortunately some DHBs do not make healthy rostering a priority so this issue will no doubt be an important one for MECA negotiations later this year. In the meantime we continue to work with DHB representatives on solutions for on call rostering and are awaiting a response to recommendations which, if accepted, will go some way to improving the situation for members.
Telephone on call Members should be paid for the time they spend on the phone when rostered on call particularly when dealing with patients/clients. We continue to advocate for a standard national rate for all DHBs. If we are unable to reach agreement before negotiations then this issue will also need to be addressed at the negotiation table.
Level 3, Willbank Court, 57 Willis Street, Wellington 6011 PO Box 2128, Wellington 6140 Phone 0800 28 38 48 www.nzno.org.nz
The newsletter for NZNO members working in the DHB sector.