The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is today in mediation with District Health Boards (DHBs) to try to negotiate a decent collective agreement that provides fair pay and healthy workplaces for 27,000 nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants around the country. Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff urged the DHBs to produce an offer that shows our nurses the respect they deserve.
“Everybody who has been through a hospital or used our community health services in the last few years knows the nursing team has been covering gaps in our healthcare system and funding” Mr Wagstaff said. “Nurses have been picking up the slack by missing meal and toilet breaks, working unpaid overtime and operating with completely inadequate staffing levels so that patients don’t suffer. Nurses have a reasonable expectation that they will now be paid fairly for their work and their employer will fix the inadequacies in their working environment.”
“We all have an interest in repairing the gaps in our public health system. When you hand over your loved ones to our public health services you should have confidence that the staff are highly skilled and have everything they need to deliver care. Working people want to know that our nurses are being taken care of by DHBs, so they can take excellent care of us.”
The Council of Trade Unions is running a petition to DHBs for the public to show their support for the nursing team as part of their negotiations at www.together.org.nz/iheartnurses. So far over 13,700 people have signed on to the campaign.