Call for minister to aid ongoing payroll woes

Published: February 29, 2024

Te Whatu Ora is failing to meet its contractual obligations to pay its senior doctors correctly and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists – Toi Mata Hauora is calling on Minister of Health Dr. Shane Reti to step in to fix ongoing payroll issues.

It has been three months since senior doctors and dentists settled pay negotiations with Te Whatu Ora last year, but most senior doctors and dentists have still not received agreed pay increases.

“Te Whatu Ora has told us that doctors and dentists in some districts will not be paid until June. That is more than six months late and we have little confidence based on current performance that Te Whatu Ora can even achieve that,” ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton said.

“Doctors settled on a modest cost of living increase, only to have it withheld by their employer. This is a poor way to show staff they are valued.

“The term of our current collective agreement is one year. At this rate we will be starting to negotiate the next collective before the employer has met their current obligations.

“Minister Shane Reti says the health care system is in crisis and workforce retention is a key priority. Making sure senior doctors and dentists are paid what they are owed, on time, is a critical first step to retain our medical workforce.

“It is Te Whatu Ora’s responsibility to make sure it has sufficient staff and systems in place to process payroll changes promptly, and to pay all health workers correctly and on time.”