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Nurses Launch Pay Parity Campaign

Sunday May 8 2005

Nurses Launch Pay Parity Campaign for Primary Health Care Nurses

The 39,000-strong New Zealand Nurse’s Organisation launches a massive new pay parity campaign for the Primary Health Care sector in Hamilton today. (Ed note: Sunday, May 8).

The launch follows the recent and historic Fair Pay settlement negotiated by NZNO and the country’s 21 District Health Boards covering 20,000 public hospital nurses, midwives and health care assistants..

“That success has highlighted the undervaluing of nurses in the Primary Health Care Sector, most of whom work in GP-owned general practices,” says NZNO spokesperson Laila Harré.

“The aim of this campaign is to negotiate a Primary Health Care Multi-Employer Collective Agreement [MECA] which values nurses in the community on a par with their District Health Board counterparts. If the Government is serious about improving health by investing in primary health services then that means investing in nurses.” Laila Harré says.

Laila Harré says the MECA “will be a massive logistical exercise for NZNO and employers” with 5000 members and 1100 employers affected. She believes that employers will be supportive of a campaign aimed at addressing primary health nurse pay, “and we want to work with employers in this campaign to persuade the government that it must make up the funding gap between primary and secondary health care nurses.”

NZNO will start visiting its members in the 1100 workplaces tomorrow; by the end of July members will have voted on the proposal; and bargaining will begin for the country’s largest private-sector MECA in August.

“Our members are determined to make 2005 the year for parity for primary health care,” says Laila Harré.

The PHC Pay Parity campaign launch will start at the Conference of the NZ College of Practice Nurses, Novotel Hotel, Hamilton at 9am.

ENDS

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