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‘RMO doctors settle landmark collective agreement’

Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) union Specialty Trainees of New Zealand (STONZ) have accepted a negotiated offer from Te Whatu Ora.

The offer corrects significant historic issues with RMO’s pay scale with variable effect on members’ pay that averages (across the membership) a 14% increase in the first year of the two-year agreement and 3% in the second.

This represents a significant catch-up on hourly rates that have trended down over the last decade and reconstruction of anti-social hour loadings respecting the long hours done by junior doctors all hours of the day and night.

STONZ President Richard Storey says the agreement is a good start. “We had seen RMO pay decline to the point where doctors’ hourly pay had fallen below that of nurses. This agreement corrects this to a degree, but it is only a first step.

“RMOs are the doctors who keep the hospital doors open, they represent about a third of the hospital doctor workforce however they account for two thirds of doctors’ hours worked in Aotearoa New Zealand’s hospitals.

“We believe that the agreement struck is fair given the current context and the large majority of our members have agreed. We are grateful for Te Whatu Ora’s constructive engagement, settling a contract without industrial disruption to public healthcare to which our members are deeply committed.

“However, if we are to grow our workforce and keep it here, more needs to be done. Particularly in terms of improving health infrastructure and growing training opportunities.

“Our members have a strong commitment to a better health system and to the New Zealanders it should serve, and that work extends well beyond these pay negotiations.”

STONZ is run by frontline resident doctors and advocates for the long-term benefit of its members, their patients, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system.


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