INDEPENDENT NEWS

Midwives say extra budget money won't fix problems

Published: Mon 21 May 2018 04:11 PM
From Nine To Noon, 9:33 am on 18 May 2018
Midwives have criticised the $103 million boost they received in this year's government budget, saying the figure is misleading and will not deal with pay equity.
Photo: RNZ / John Lake
Half of the money is to go towards an 8.9 percent increase in fees for 1400 lead maternity carers.
College of Midwives deputy chief executive Alison Eddy said that boost would not be enough to stop midwives leaving the profession.
Of the $103m, about $27m would go towards paying for a growing population and increasing costs, she said.
"So it's more business as usual as opposed to a pay rise."
Listen: duration 7:44
Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format.
Independent midwives were paid for each woman they cared for, rather than an hourly wage, resulting in some rural independent midwives receiving about $7.20 an hour, she said.
The budget increase would have a particularly limited impact for those midwives, she said.
"The current fee [per birth] is somewhere between $2100 and $2300, and this new funding ... would add about $200 to that overall fee."
The 8.9 percent had been calculated based on the increase midwives working in hospitals had received over the past 10 years, she said.
Earlier this month, hundreds of midwives marched to parliament to hand over a 13,000-signature petition and hundreds of letter to Health Minister David Clark, calling for for urgent action in the Budget.
They had wanted a new co-funded model for community midwives, which was developed with the College of Midwives and the Ministry of Health, to be fully funded in the Budget.
That had not happened, Ms Eddy said.
"Our mediation agreement with the ministry actually set out that the Budget bid for this year would acknowledge the government's pay equity principle ... the principles developed as a result of the care settlement - and we really feel that 8.9 percent doesn't quite make it."
RNZ
New Zealand's public broadcaster, providing comprehensive NZ news and current affairs, specialist audio features and documentaries.
Radio New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. Radio New Zealand News are vital elements in our programming, providing impartial news and information to New Zealanders every day. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) provides listeners with exciting and independent radio programmes in accordance with the Radio New Zealand Charter.

Next in Comment

Were journalists 'just doing their job' in the political resignation of Metiria Turei?
By: Sean Phelan and Leon Salter
Gordon Campbell on the extradition of Julian Assange
By: Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell: Islamic State Meets 'The Searchers'
By: Gordon Campbell
Learnings From CJR Analysis of Post-ChCh Media
By: Joseph Cederwall
News Deserts; The Death March of Local Journalism
By: Joseph Cederwall
Julian Assange as Neuroses
By: Binoy Kampmark
The Effort to Relabel Julian Assange
By: Binoy Kampmark
Shredding Asylum: The Arrest of Julian Assange
By: Binoy Kampmark
Terms of Asylum and Distraction: Moreno’s Assange Problem
By: Binoy Kampmark
Grand Jury Efforts: Jailing Chelsea Manning
By: Binoy Kampmark
How You Can Be Certain The Charge Against Assange Is a Fraud
By: Caitlin Johnstone
10 Reasons Assange Should Walk Free
By: David Swanson
WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Computer Hacking Conspiracy
By: United States Department of Justice
CPJ troubled by prosecution of Julian Assange
By: Committee to Protect Journalists
The Prosecution Of Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange
By: Caitlin Johnstone
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media