DHB midwives to strike

By Regan Paranihi

Over a thousand district midwives go on strike today following their decision to reject the District Health Boards' pay offer.

80 percent of Midwifery Employee and Representation Advisory Service (MERAS) members, voted in the ballot which closed yesterday and of these, ninety percent voted to reject the DHB offer and for strike action.

For the next two weeks, midwives will be striking for two hours of work on every shift.

Michelle Archer, MERAS MECA negotiating team representative, says most union members feel passionate about their jobs and feel undervalued for the work they do.

"This is a pivotal time for midwifery.  Members see it as 'our time' to be recognised."

NRC Chair Kelly McConville says it’s great to see so many members vote as it shows the concerns midwives have on a daily basis regarding their working conditions.

"It shows how we've been working at crisis point for a long time now."