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Nurses to consider new pay offer

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation [NZNO] have announced nurses are to stop work for two hours in the coming weeks to consider a pay offer from Te Whatu Ora.

Those nurses who belong to the organisation and who work for Te Whatu Ora, will be stopping work for two hours to attend one of 57 meetings across New Zealand to be held between today and 2 June.

The meetings are for nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora to review the latest offer and discuss the next steps.

A statement from the NZNO last week said its members had asked for a pay rise that matched inflation [currently at 6.7 per cent].

“Te Whatu Ora’s offer of $4000 this year across all rates and a further 3 per cent next year falls well short of this figure,” the statement said.

“Te Whatu Ora has not at all addressed members’ claims around the significant issue of safe staffing and their wellbeing at work – such as implementing a ratio-based staffing safety net and supporting health and safety representatives at work.”

NZNO chief executive Paul Goulter expected the meetings to be well-attended.

“Members would much rather be at work focussing on their patients, but we’re holding these meetings to decide what to do next because Te Whatu Ora’s offer will not help them deliver the levels of care their patients deserve.

“We are at a time when Aotearoa desperately needs nurses and other health workers. Pay and conditions that recognise their value would make nursing more attractive and help keep the nurses we have,” he said.

“Right now, nurses do not feel safe coming into work and, ultimately, it will be patients that pay the price for hospitals that are continuously understaffed and under-resourced.”

Goulter said the meetings would not be about voting on the offer or on industrial action.

“The bargaining team does not think the offer meets member expectations, and the meetings are part of our democratic process for receiving member feedback.”

The NZNO said Te Whatu Ora had offered a $4,000 pay rise this year, followed by either three per cent next year or $2,000, whichever is higher.

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