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A Teachers’ Settlement and a Nurses ’ Call

A Teachers’ Settlement and a Nurses ’ Call

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has congratulated primary teachers on their settlement announced today which is still subject to ratification by members.

“NZEI led the way on pay equity for women in the public sector with its battles for pay parity for primary and then kindergarten teachers. This settlement marks not just the continuation of pay parity but its improvement,” said NZNO spokesperson, Laila Harré.

“The settlement will also reinforce NZNO’s criticism of the current DHB offer which would leave two-thirds of nurses behind primary school teachers with the same level of tertiary education and experience,” she said.

NZNO launched its Fair Pay Campaign on Suffrage Day 2003.

“A year on from the launch of our Fair Pay campaign we are pleased to congratulate NZEI on another significant settlement and will take heart from it as we enter mediation in our negotiations,” she said.

Laila Harré said that while the NZNO Fair Pay claim would not bring full pay equity for nurses it would tackle the urgent and costly recruitment and retention problems affecting the largest professional group in the health service.

“While the NZNO claim will still leave most nurses behind teachers and police constables with similar experience, it will make a big difference for a respected but hugely undervalued group of mainly women professionals,” she said.

“It will make a big dent in the $100 million currently spent each year by DHBs on nurse recruitment.”

NZNO and the 21 DHBs will be in mediation on Wednesday and Thursday. NZNO has said that the current DHB is “about three-quarters of the way” towards what it would consider a reasonable Fair Pay settlement.

“We hope DHBs will come to the table this week with the funds needed to reach such a settlement. That would be a pretty good way of marking the anniversary of Women’s Suffrage,” said Laila Harré.

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