Statement on my remuneration as NZNO President
In standing for election in 2015, as many NZNO members know, I pledged publicly that, “As your next President, I will accept only my current Staff Nurse pay rate”.
As I approach the end of my first three-year term in office, I make this brief statement on my remuneration to verify that the pledge has been fulfilled.
“[Brookes] says he will be standing by his pledge to only accept a staff nurse pay rate by donating the difference back to NZNO.
‘My preference, so I don’t give any suggestion the role is worth less than the previous president has received, would be to accept the full salary and donate back the difference between my current staff nurse pay rate and the presidential pay rate’.”
And since 2015, with the support of my family who were directly affected, this is what I have done.
Keeping my take-home pay the same as it was before I became President, and adjusting it only in line with changes in the DHB MECA, meant that I started on a net (after tax) annual salary of $60,246.94. This went to $61,451.88 on 4 July 2016, when base rates in the MECA rose by two percent. There it remained, up until the ratification of the new MECA last month.
Over the course of the last three years, I have reported in regular letters to the NZNO Board of Directors, through its Governance Committee, on the amounts donated back to NZNO. I now publish these letters, in the interests of full transparency.
Although it wasn’t part of my pledge, I also wanted to save money on work-related expenses. This was achieved by doing things like staying with local NZNO members while away on work trips, rather than in hotels, and by choosing the cheapest fares.
For the two full financial years I’ve been in the role so far (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2018), spending on travel and accommodation averaged just 53% of the money budgeted per annum in the NZNO President cost centre.
For their part, the Board wanted to make it clear that they did not endorse my decision to accept only Staff Nurse and donate the rest back to NZNO – a position they expressed, for example, at the Board meeting held on 18 October 2017 (see page 5 of the minutes, available at this link).
My last letter to the Board and Governance Committee, dated 10 September 2018, notes that when I stood for re-election this year, my candidate profile statement did not repeat the 2015 pledge to accept only the pay of a Staff Nurse. This decision was made after consultation with my family.
Therefore, while I will continue to decline the full salary during my second term as NZNO President starting on 19 September 2018, this statement constitutes my final public comment on my remuneration for the role.
Grant Brookes, NZNO President