When it comes to employment contracts, collective agreements are an important factor to consider in New Zealand. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is one of the largest unions representing registered nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants in the country. They negotiate collective agreements (CAs) with employers on behalf of their members.

Collective agreements are legally binding contracts negotiated between a union and an employer. They set out the terms and conditions of employment for a group of employees, including wages, hours of work, leave entitlements, and other benefits. The purpose of collective bargaining is to ensure fair and equitable treatment for employees while providing employers with a stable and productive workforce.

The NZNO`s collective agreements cover a wide range of healthcare settings, from hospitals and clinics to mental health and disability facilities. They negotiate with district health boards (DHBs), aged care providers, and private hospitals, among others. The current NZNO DHB MECA (multi-employer collective agreement) covers over 30,000 nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants across New Zealand.

One of the key benefits of collective agreements is that they provide security and stability for employees. They ensure that everyone in the workplace is treated fairly, with the same basic rights and conditions. This can be particularly important in industries like healthcare, where employees may be subject to long hours, irregular shifts, and high levels of stress.

Another advantage of collective agreements is that they provide a framework for resolving disputes. If an employee feels that their rights have been violated, they can turn to the union for support. The union can then negotiate with the employer on their behalf, either through mediation or arbitration. This can help to prevent conflicts from escalating and ensure that everyone is treated fairly.

Overall, collective agreements are an important tool for ensuring fair and equitable treatment for employees in New Zealand. The NZNO plays a critical role in negotiating these agreements on behalf of its members, and it has helped to improve working conditions for healthcare workers across the country. If you are a healthcare worker in New Zealand, it is important to understand your rights and benefits under the collective agreement that covers your workplace.