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Nurses Call For National Salary Parity Justified

“Nurses Call For National Salary Parity Justified”

“The call by nurses for national salary parity is justified and fair,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the Nurses Organisation’s intention in their forthcoming Canterbury District Health Board collective agreement negotiations to seek parity with Auckland salary rates, the best in the country.

“Seeking parity with Auckland is a logical step towards the nurses overall objective of national salary parity. It is important for staffing stability and morale, and ultimately for standards of patient care, to remove the regional inequities and disparities in conditions of employment that are so unfair, so devaluing, so discriminating and so morale sapping.”

“Nurses are already underpaid throughout New Zealand but this problem is made much worse by regional discrimination caused by the failed attempt to introduce market forces into the public health system in the 1990s and the unfair pro-management Employment Contracts Act that was fortunately repealed nearly three years ago.”

“Senior doctors also face similar problems over regional inequities and discrimination. We are seeking to address these serious problems in our national collective agreement negotiations that are currently underway with district health boards. National consistency is vital if New Zealand is to be effective in workforce development, stability and recruitment and retention in what is a highly competitive job market for both medicine and nursing.”

“It is important that district health boards and government don’t put their head in the sand and not face up to the importance of providing national parity for senior doctors and nurses that is so critical to a quality public health service. You can’t have one without the other.”

“They need to think about the future rather than adopt a short-term and short-sighted approach in collective agreement negotiations with both nurses and senior doctors,” concluded Mr Powell.

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