Specialty Trainees of New Zealand

If in doubt, email support@stonz.co.nz

Frequently asked Questions

Now that the NZRDA MECA has ratified, how can I join STONZ?

If you are an RDA member you can resign from the RDA at any stage and go onto an Individual Employment Agreement with a DHB. But you cannot sign up to become a STONZ member and be covered by the terms and conditions of our MECA until you rotate DHB/change employer or until 2 months prior to the expiry of the NZRDA MECA. If you are a House Officer stepping up to a Registrar position you can only join STONZ if you are also changing employer.

If you are on an IEA with the DHB it is still possible to become a member of a Union. If you are on an IEA and wish to become a member of STONZ, please email support@stonz.co.nz for more information.

Am I eligible for the Lump Sum Payment?

Have you been employed by a DHB in New Zealand since 1st of March 2018 without more than 3 months break? As long as you haven’t received a lump sum payment under any other employment agreement then you would be eligible. Noting the payment will be pro-rated for part time employees and excludes those on casual contracts. There is also tax applied to the lump sum payment.

How long does it take to process a lump sum payment?

From the time you apply for membership it takes approximately a week to process and for the DHBs to be notified. Once the DHBs receive notification it usually takes about 2 pay runs before your lump sum will be processed. The DHB automatically processes the lump sum, and although each DHB follows their own process it’s not up to you to initiate anything.

What constitutes continuous service?

As long as you have not taken more than 3 months leave then your service is considered to be continuous. Continuous service doesn’t have to be at one DHB, it will be considered continuous as long as you have been employed by any DHB in NZ.

I’ve passed my Part 1’s (or equivalent), shouldn’t I go up a PGY Year?

Yes, once you receive confirmation of passing your part 1’s make sure you forward a copy to your RMO Unit and Payroll department as per clause 12.3.1. Progression will be granted provided you are at least PGY5.

If I apply for Annual leave on the weekend will this affect my leave balance?

If you apply for leave for the weekend and it was approved there would be no deduction for annual leave whether rostered or not.  The only exception is sick leave or STIL leave on a weekend, which would be deducted.

How much leave am I entitled to? The provisions in the MECA state:

  • Annual Leave: 6 weeks leave in accordance with the Holidays Act.

  • Medical Education Leave: Registrars on a Vocational training programme shall be entitled to 12 weeks MEL over the course of their training but not more than 6 weeks MEL shall be taken in any one year. House Officers PGY2 or more and Registrars not on a training programme are entitled to a maximum of 5 days per year. These RMOs may also be entitled to an additional one-off three-week (15 days) MEL.

  • Conference Leave: Registrars in a recognised vocational programme who have passed their Part 1 exam or equivalent shall be granted a total of 10 days additional leave beyond the provision in clause 7.0 to attend appropriate conferences during their vocational training.

  • Note: All of the above will also rely on approval from the RMO Units/DHB and in some cases the Service & CD. It also relies on the ability for the Service/RMO Unit to cover the leave applied for and whether you have the appropriate balance available.

What happens to my Sick Leave if I move to STONZ?

If you transfer to STONZ you can transfer your entire SL balance. Once you are a member of STONZ, the MECA allows for up to 20 days of Sick Leave to be transferred between DHBs and then on appointment to a new DHB you will be entitled to a further 10 days Sick Leave. Sick leave cannot be cashed up and paid out.

In regards to sick leave and abutting weekends, the DHB cannot deduct sick leave for off duty weekends where Sick leave crosses a Friday to a Monday. If you were sick on a Friday and a Monday you would be only deducted 2 days, rather than 4.

I’m working a Schedule 10 Roster – what are my options?

As a STONZ member the DHB should contact you prior to starting a schedule 10 Roster and confirm what your preference is. The three options are:

  • Under the STONZ MECA you can request to observe the RDO’s however you wouldn’t be entitled to be paid for those days so the DHB can look to recalculate your salary if you choose to observe them.

  • However, if they recalculate your salary with the RDO’s and it remains the same, then they can request you to work the RDO’s.

  • The other option would be to continue working the 12 days in a row without it affecting your remuneration.

How much parental leave am I entitled to?

If you are the primary caregiver and you have been employed by the DHB’s for more than 12 months you are entitled to take up to 52 weeks leave. Under the STONZ MECA you would be entitled to 14 weeks paid parental leave (the DHB will pay the difference between the weekly statutory payment and the equivalent weekly value of your base salary. If you have been employed for less than 12 months you can apply up to 6 months leave.

If you are the Non-primary care giver, you are entitled to up to 2 weeks paid leave on your ordinary salary. Leave shall be continuous and should be taken somewhere in the 3 weeks prior to the expected due date or up to 3 weeks after the actual delivery date (or adoption).

As an employee you must give at least 3 months written notice to the DHB of your intention to take parental leave in which you must also include your due date, letter from your medical practitioner or mid-wife and the amount of leave you wish to take including a return to work date.

What are the limits on hours for Pregnant employees?

Employees shall be able to reduce hours of work as follows:

  • From 28 weeks of pregnancy (or earlier if medically advised by the employee’s lead maternity carer), no night shifts shall be worked.

  • From 32 weeks of pregnancy (or earlier if medically advised by the employee’s lead maternity carer), no long days in excess of 10 hours shall be worked.

  • From 36 weeks of pregnancy (or earlier if medically advised by the employees lead maternity carer), no acute clinical workload shall be allocated.

  • Employees reducing hours as provided for in this clause above shall have their salary reduced in a manner to reflect their reduced workload in accordance with what would have been their expected roster but for the pregnancy.

Note: The payment shall be made at the commencement of the parental leave and shall be calculated at the ordinary (pro-rata if appropriate) applicable to the employee immediately prior to commencement of parental leave. Except where an employee, on medical advice and with the consent of the employer, elects to work reduced hours at any time prior to the taking of leave, then the calculation of payment for the parental leave shall be based on the proportion of full-time employment immediately prior to any such enforced reduction in hours. The payment shall be made only in respect of the period for which the employee is on parental leave and in receipt of the statutory payment if this is less than 14 weeks.

How does the CME Fund work? (clause 10.8.2)

This fund is available to all Registrars regardless or not of whether you are on a vocational training programme or not. This fund of $2000 (before tax) is available for each full year of service effective 10.12.2018. If you were to join mid-year and you were eligible, the $2000 would be pro-rated for the remaining months of the year. This CME fund has a common anniversary date for all STONZ RMO’s on the 10th of December each year so you would be eligible to claim another $2000 after the 10th December each year.

 Note: If you use this fund to pay for something other than IT equipment and it was purchased in NZ then the DHB will pay GST. If you purchase IT equipment, the government classifies this as Income and you will be deducted the GST. Also note, there is a 6 month limit to claim items after the date of purchase. This fund can also be used to attend conferences but is not intended for courses.

Why are STONZ Categories sometimes lower than the NZRDA?

The STONZ Categories listed are sometimes lower than the NZRDA salary as the STONZ salaries in the table have already taken into account the unpaid RDO’s. The RDA salaries listed don’t include the deductions for RDO’s. If you are working a Schedule 10 Roster on an RDA contract you will need to apply the deduction model as outlined on page 78 of the NZRDA MECA which outlines a deduction of between $192 - $342 per RDO depending what PGY year you are and the type of run. So, depending how many weekends you are rostered followed by two RDO’s the difference in the listed salaries can change quite significantly.

I’m a TI, can I join STONZ?

Yes, of course! Just sign up online and membership is free.