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Association disappointed settlement not reached

19 August 2004

Nurse Maude Association disappointed settlement not reached

Nurse Maude Association Chief Executive Ingrid Thomas says that it is unfortunate the Association could not reach agreement on a contract with the NZNO at mediation today.

“We sought mediation as part of our genuine endeavour to settle the contract. We went into mediation today in good faith and we are extremely disappointed that the contract issue could not be resolved,” Mrs Thomas says.

“From the outset of negotiations in March, we have been very open and fair in our attempts to reach an agreement acceptable to both parties.”

Mrs Thomas says Nurse Maude values its nurses highly and recognises their commitment and dedication.

“We have made them an offer of a 3 per cent increase across the board for the NZNO to divide as they saw fit. There is just no more money in our budget to meet their claim,” she says.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation initially sought an 18 per cent increase, revising that to the most recent claim of 11.2 per cent.

Mrs Thomas says remuneration for the Association’s nurses is comparable with other providers and in some areas it is significantly better.

“In fact Nurse Maude pay rates benchmark well with nurses working in this sector,” she says.

“Nurse Maude nurses in general have favourable working conditions, including good educational opportunities and family friendly nursing hours. Most of the care is provided to long-term elderly and disability patients.

“Nurse Maude does not have problems recruiting staff. Most of our nurses come from the secondary sector. In fact, there is a waiting list for district nursing vacancies. Our turnover rate of nurses is low.”

Nurse Maude today offered to pay the full cost of their nurse’s practicing certificate.

“However the NZNO remained firm on their stance,” Mrs Thomas says

She says the Association will continue planning to ensure patient care is not compromised during the planned industrial action on August 30 between 8am to 1pm.

“Nurse Maude will be doing everything to ensure our high standard of patient care and to prevent any inconvenience to our patients, their families and our other staff.”

Nurse Maude is now contacting all its clients requiring care during the strike period to determine their requirements. It has also set up a hotline operating Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm to answer client queries. The hotline number is 03 375 4275.

ENDS

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