Specialty Trainees of New Zealand

About us

A union speaking for junior doctors

Who we are?

We are a union for junior doctors formed by surgical trainees. We are a non profit organisation and our executive team are all junior doctors. Our aim is to help facilitate the training of resident medical officers and protect our training. We are available to all junior doctors

In recent years we have seen restrictive working hours introduced to the New Zealand health system for junior doctors. Although these were done with the best intentions and under the guise of "Safer Working Hours", they have not proven to be safe and they have had unintended consequences. Unfortunately we are not the first group of junior doctors to tread this path. This has occurred in both the US and the UK. In both cases to the detriment of junior doctor training. We have formed to combat these changes in New Zealand and to protect our training.

“Safer” working hours need to be proven to be safe for both patients and those working the rosters. At STONZ we agree junior doctors have poor work life balance and we will work with our employers using evidence based medicine to improve this for our members and to create rosters that are collaborative, adaptive and safe for both doctor and patient. 

Recent restrictive working hours effects :

  • Dilution of training and this has a detrimental effects on the quality of our training. This will also lead to lengthened training which in turn will be a barrier to training.

  • Increasingly complex and frequent handovers putting patients at risk and costing the hospitals time and money.

  • Increased staffing levels required with no increase in the number of junior doctors coming through. All leading to rosters with unsafe shortages.

  • The loss of team structure and team dynamics, a cornerstone of medical and surgical training.

  • All of the above leading to loss of job satisfaction.

What is our plan?

  • STONZ has created a MECA which was implemented on the 10th December 2018

  • We have removed rostered week days off following weekend work as these lead to complicated handovers, dilution of training, loss of team structure and are contributing to our nation wide junior doctor shortages.

  • We have negotiated for rosters based on the guidelines of both the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Medical Association. These roster guidelines will be based on current evidence and STONZ is committed to investing in research into "Safer Working Hours" and fatigue management.

  • We have negotiated increased funding for training. This is for both trainees and non trainees with discretionary funds available to our junior doctors to allow them to best direct their training.

  • We have negotiated a pay increase for our members.

  • We have negotiated increased payed parental leave for our members who are primary care givers.

Join STONZ now and help make a difference to the health of New Zealand.


Join us now

We are a growing union, and the more voices we represent the more we can change.

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