Nurses combine on stopwork over pay parity

Dunedin primary care nurses join their New Zealand Nurses Organisation colleagues on a 24-hour strike today.

The stopwork, the second in recent weeks, is in support of the NZNO’s pay parity claim.

It means about 3200 primary nurses, reception and administration staff in more than 500 practices and accident and medical centres nationwide will not be at work today.

"The Minister of Health has encouraged us to continue using the Employment Relations Authority to help progress a settlement," NZNO industrial adviser Chris Wilson said.

"But we have already been to mediation with no progress because the Government will not address the funding issue at the heart of the problem."

District health boards and the ministry met nurses in September and assured them that there was a commitment to paying them the same as DHB-employed nurses, who won themselves a pay rise after a nationwide strike in 2018.

However, nothing had happened and nurses had felt fobbed off and undervalued, Ms Wilson said.

"Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the strikes ... that is a clear indication of their frustration, anger and disappointment."

Dunedin nurses and their supporters will hold a rally in Queens Gardens at noon today, while their Invercargill colleagues will demonstrate at Wachner Pl from the same time.

Should no agreement be reached between the parties, the NZNO has also lodged a strike notice for November 23.

“They are not asking more than what is just, equal pay for work of equal value," Ms Wilson said.

"There is still an opportunity to get around the table and find a solution and NZNO is willing to meet at any time to resolve this impasse.”

Comments

A nurse at a medical centre is not doing the hard slog that a nurse in a hospital does and typically does not have the night shift or weekend work. "Equal pay for equal work" is only worth claiming when you are actually doing equal work.

 

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