SDHB ordered into mediation over backpay

The Southern District Health Board has been ordered into mediation to find out how much it owes an employee after the Employment Relations Authority found it had not been paying her enough.

Authority member Christine Hickey’s written determination said Southland Hospital employee Kerren Glasson should have been paid under a different contract since 2013 because she was performing higher duties.

Ms Glasson, a specialist technologist in echocardiography, had gained additional qualifications voluntarily.

She was highly competent and had the respect of colleagues, Ms Hickey said.

In 2013, Ms Glasson asked to transfer from the technicians’ collective agreement to the sonographers’ collective agreement, but the board refused. Ms Glasson argued that if she was a cardiac physiologist — as claimed by the health board  — then she was not being adequately supervised.

Ms Hickey agreed, saying "the great majority of Ms Glasson’s work is sonography work undertaken quite independently, although under the guidance of and with the consultation of cardiologists".

She told the DHB to pay Ms Glasson as if she had been on the sonographers’ agreement since mid-2013. The parties were to enter mediation to determine the exact amount of the back-payment.

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