The College of Midwives, the professional organisation for midwives in New Zealand, strongly supports MERAS filing in the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) over the DHBs’ decision to unilaterally exclude GPs as a potential comparator with midwives, as part of their pay equity claim for employed midwives (core midwives).
After much work, the College also identified GPs as one of the appropriate comparators for midwives, which was included in its 2016 High Court gender discrimination claim.
Midwives carry significant responsibility, ensuring the health of both mother and her baby. All midwives are able to assess, diagnose, treat and prescribe for women and babies in their care.
MERAS’s pay equity claim on behalf of employed midwives is complementary to and supports the College’s work towards achieving pay equity for self-employed midwives (Lead Maternity Carers – LMCs). The mechanisms by which employed (Multi Employer Collective Agreement – MECA) and LMC midwives are paid (Section 88 – legislative), are different and as such require different processes – one being led by MERAS and one being led by the College.
The inequities between the health professions persist and as MERAS continues to try and address this in good faith, it is frustrating that they have had to take this step with the ERA.
We consider it important that all midwives are paid appropriately for their work as indeed should be the case for everyone. The midwifery-led maternity system in New Zealand is world-renowned. Paying midwives fair and correct remuneration for work done will keep midwives in practice, help to grow and strengthen the profession, and is the only way to ensure that women and babies in New Zealand continue to receive the high-quality care they deserve both in the community and in hospitals.