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Canterbury’s Nurse Maude Staff Vote To Strike

5 August 2004

Canterbury’s Nurse Maude Staff Vote To Strike

Around 200 members of the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation employed by Christchurch’s Nurse Maude Association yesterday voted to take industrial action over their collective agreement negotiations.

NZNO advocate Joy Couglan said the Nurse Maude nurses decided they had no option but to support strike action as their employer’s offer would leave them lagging way behind other nurses.

The NZNO members are employed in a hospice and dementia units and as district nurses, in the Canterbury area.

“All our members in Nurse Maude want are the conditions routinely offered for the same work elsewhere,” said Joy Coughlan. “The offer is far below industry standards for some of our members.”

Joy Coughlan said the employer’s pay offer was around $3,500 lower than salaries for experienced registered nurses employed by the Canterbury DHB.

“The DHB nurses are currently in negotiations for a fair pay settlement, which would leave the Nurse Maude nurses even further behind,” she said.

The employer had made no offer on weekend rates, where the industry standard is time and a half. Negotiations are also stalled over sick leave. Nurse Maude staff have seven days sick leave, compared to other nurses who get 10 days.

Joy Coughlan said members were also angry at an offering to pay only half of the cost of a practising certificate, compared to elsewhere where the employer paid the full amount. The certificate is required by the employer.

ENDS

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