You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Midwives get pay rise, surety on funding

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

Midwives can celebrate payrises, pay equity and better working conditions after mediation with the Ministry of Health ended on Thursday.

The New Zealand College of Midwives announced it had withdrawn court action against the ministry because long-standing concerns about pay discrimination had now been satisfactorily addressed with a legally binding assurance.

"This is excellent news for today's midwives as well as midwives still to enter the profession," college chief executive Karen Guilliland said.

"It futureproofs the midwifery-led maternity system which is also good news for mothers and babies."

The college lodged what was the nation's biggest equal pay challenge in the High Court at Wellington in 2015, alleging midwives were paid less because they were women.

Mediation, which began last August, had resulted in "a significant number of historic firsts", Ms Guilliland said.

"The biggest is that for the first time in New Zealand history, midwives will themselves be designing pay structures and working conditions," she said.

"In the past, funding and conditions have been decided by a system that seldom included midwives or even considered what midwives do."

Ms Guilliland said if the government failed to meet the binding agreements, the college had grounds to return to court.

Midwives will get an interim pay increase of 6 per cent and, going along with the increases from the past two years, it equates to about $220 per pregnant woman.

The New Zealand College of Midwives represents more than 3100 members and works in partnership with groups such as Plunket, Parents Centre New Zealand, the Home Birth Association and La Leche League.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon