Health NZ / Hauora Aotearoa

With the 1st of July fast approaching there have been a few questions about what this means for RMOs. Health NZ have been sending regular updates and many DHBs have been doing the same, but we’ve taken some of the key messages and included them here. If you’d like to sign up for regular updates directly from Health NZ, you can do so HERE.

Will my reporting line change?
Health NZ have formally communicated with the small number of people who will have a reporting line change on 1st July. For everyone else, reporting lines do not change as a result of Health NZ coming into effect.

There will be no further changes to reporting lines until an interim structure has been approved, or the operating model work has been completed and approved following due process, and where a robust change management process with all parties has been completed. This means that from 1st July, employees will continue to report to the same leadership position and in most cases, this is the same person you report to today.

Update on naming and visual identity for Health NZ
The new name and visual identity are now confirmed and will be announced on the 1st July. The Health NZ Executive Leadership Team met recently to review the naming approach across our districts and services so that we have both consistency and community ownership for health services locally.

There will be a single name across all districts and services. Districts will also have a local identifier and Health NZ are in the process of confirming these with districts now. Health NZ will not change signage, branding and materials that have branding from 1st July. It will be phased in over time. In some cases, your service or unit name may change, and your leader will discuss that with you when the time comes.

Next steps to renaming:  Health NZ are now focused on applying the new name and identity across channels and materials for 1st July and they will work with interim executive leaders and their teams, interim district directors and shared services heads and communications teams around sharing this information and applying it to channels and collateral. Digital-based items and channels will be updated as close to Day 1 as possible. Consumables and items such as signage and uniforms will only be updated when supplies are due for replacement.

We’re expecting more detail around Day 1 shortly and we’ve been advised that there will be a video to share that tells the story of the name and a Public Information Campaign

To recap, on 1st of July, you will continue to:

  • work in your current role under existing terms and conditions
  • work at your current location and use the same access card
  • use the same log-in, email address, IT equipment and IT systems
  • be supported by the same teams –including IT, HR, Relationship Managers and Ministry of Health teams.

How has STONZ been involved with the transition to Health NZ?

STONZ is the only union representing Junior Doctors affiliated with the CTU (Council of Trade Unions). All the health unions who are members of the CTU have been meeting regularly from day 1 of the transition and have been working closely with the transition unit, and now the Interim leaders on this change.

We are also working with Health NZ to develop FAQs for RMOs specifically which will be available shortly, and have been integral in advocating that a separate workstream is established with the sole purpose of managing change over the coming years for RMOs (you should receive a short survey about this very soon). We have also been strongly advocating at every opportunity for RMOs, and that this transition is used as an opportunity to make positive change for the entire healthcare workforce.

As part of our MECA negotiations, we also have agreement to meet mid-term (later in 2022) to review the MECA following the transition.

What does the change to Health NZ mean for anyone who wants to change their terms and conditions i.e., change unions?
Previously if a RMO moved DHB (employer), they were able to change union coverage at that point. However, with the change to Health NZ the only option to change union membership will be 60 days prior to the expiry date of the MECA that you’re currently covered by. So, if you are a STONZ member now and wanted to change your union you could from 60-days prior to our MECA expiring in December 2023. If you are currently a NZRDA member and would like to change, you cannot until 60-days prior to the MECA expiring, which is in March 2024.

At any time, you can resign from a union and request an IEA, individual employment agreement (negotiate directly with the hospital) but you won’t have the support of a union. So, if you haven’t signed up to a union yet, it’s important to think about what is going to suit you best, now, and in the future as it’s not that easy to change.


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