House Officer Representatives Report

At the last AGM, it was agreed that we would increase the number of House Officer Representatives on the executive. We are pleased to introduce Bri Northey & Alastair Hercus.

Bri Northey:

My values of prioritising learning and teaching including the funds to achieve this, flexibility and life/work balance and a team environment matches STONZ values exactly and that’s one of the reason’s I put my name forward for this role. I'm so pleased I have been with this union since being a house officer because they are constantly trying to better our supports, as our needs and training requirements change and evolve. I’m proud to say I’m now part of the executive team and can help continue the work that the team have done to date and also make sure that the experiences of new House Officers coming through are front and centre.

How does STONZ support House Officers?

I know House Officers are often put off by the 12/2 roster set under the STONZ Collective Agreement, but we have also accounted for this in our most recent collective agreement, as you have RDOs with weekends in the first 6 months as a House Officer, whilst you settle into the role. The additional 2 days worked in the 12-day period in my experience does not significantly worsen your time as a house officer, and instead enhances the team structure, and is reflected in the higher salary.

STONZ also offers an additional $500 for courses or conferences that are not pre-requisites for training. Another aspect is to consider what your priorities may be in two to three years’ time. We know that you spend the majority of your RMO years as a Registrar, therefore it is important to think what you may want as a Registrar.


I put my name forward to join the STONZ executive team due to my values closely aligning with that of the union and its members, and many unique benefits within the collective agreement. My decision was reinforced by the STONZ members that I had worked with as a student who were passionate advocates for positive workplace cultures and conditions.

STONZ is a union for doctors, run by doctors and in my view STONZ values patient, and doctor safety above anything else and has a specific focus on aiding members on their training pathway to specialist positions. I wanted to be part of this and be able to contribute to the discussion and the decision making.

How does STONZ support House Officers?

During your career you will undoubtedly require the support of your union. Often, for advice regarding rostering or pay. However, by no means is advice and advocacy limited to these issues alone. The support team at STONZ is excellent at answering any questions you may have and providing support around these issues.

STONZ has a diverse community of delegate and executive RMO’s across all regions of the country who are approachable and keen to improve the workspace. If you are keen to get involved in advocacy, the running of union or formulation of the collective agreement there is ample opportunity to do so. The union is run by doctors of course.

Planning ahead early in your career as a TI or house officer is of more importance than ever following the change to Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand. The only time you can change unions now is when a new collective agreement (formerly MECA) is up for re-negotiation. For the NZRDA this is March 2024, and for STONZ, December 2023. It is a common misconception that you can switch unions when you step up to a registrar position.


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