December Update

Christmas chaos begins to rein again. I was one of the lucky ones last week, escaping for a week of annual leave to visit the newest member of our whanau. One of life's true treasures. 

En-route, the Air New Zealand safety video inspired me with a metaphor of the RMO world and what we do at STONZ. 

Tiaki is the Māori principle of being guardians of people, place and culture on which the safety video is based. Tiaki inspires and challenges us to understand that we didn't inherit a culture or healthcare system from our seniors, we are merely borrowing it from those that will come after us. STONZ was founded by senior registrars in the twilight of their RMO years to protect and improve a workplace and training environment that would be as good or better for those that followed in their footsteps.

This time last year we were wrapping up negotiations after three months of bargaining. Reflecting on the past year it is humbling to see what STONZ and our team have managed to achieve in a short time. 

The Remuneration Project is being progressed after many COVID-19 delays. STONZ & Te Whatu Ora have appointed Strategic Pay to review our current RMO remuneration model and see if we can develop a fairer and more transparent way to pay us all. The aim is that this work will be completed mid-2023, which means it will help to inform next year’s negotiations.

Other projects completed this year include the Roster writing and leave management guide for RMOs writing rosters and Psychiatry guidelines for home-based assessments after hours. Both these projects represent areas where we have found significant RMO issues, and we are excited to present a way forward for these issues.

We are also pleased to announce that we will have a ‘Meals Allowance Pilot’ available for any members who would like to participate at Mid Central, Waikato, Whanganui, Canterbury, South Canterbury and Southern districts in 2023. When we surveyed members last year, 50% of those who responded said they would prefer to have a choice of an allowance rather than hospital meals provided. We recognise the 50/50 split of our union so are seeking more information about what a meal allowance might practically look like through a pilot project. There is no commitment to change anything long-term in our contracted meals entitlement and if you are not a voluntary participant then your ability to access meals will not change. If you are interested in signing up or have any questions, you can read more HERE.

We know this year has been tough for many, however, we know that there are some positive and exciting things happening around the motu we, and our members are involved in. So, if there is anything you’d like to share, or want to get involved in making a positive change for those that follow in your footsteps then we would love to hear from you.

For those of you working and studying (as I will be) this holiday season, thank you for your incredible commitment and mahi and enjoy the break when your time comes. For those who are not rostered, make the most of time away from work with your friends and whanau. Be safe, and as always look after each other. 

Meri Kirihimete
Rich Storey, STONZ Senior Trainee Representative


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