Contract near agreement

Deborah Powell
Deborah Powell.
An end to the long-running resident doctors’ contract negotiations appears to be in sight.

New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association national secretary Dr Deborah Powell said New Zealand’s resident doctors had been in negotiation for the renewal of the multi-employer collective employment agreement (Meca) for more than a year.

The key issue for negotiation had been safer rosters for resident doctors, she said.

The Meca expired in February 2016, and unless agreement is reached before the end of this month, it will cease to exist.

Dr Powell said the only remaining barrier to settlement was an employers’ clawback of  a provision that had existed in the agreement for more than 20 years.

"The district health boards are demanding the ability to impose changes to the doctors’ job descriptions (known by resident doctors as "run descriptions") without gaining prior agreement from them."

She said the parties had agreed to meet on  Tuesday  in an effort to resolve the outstanding matter.

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