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PSA Should Come Clean



PSA Should Come Clean

PSA Mental Health nurses are gambling with the safety of mental health patients because they want a better deal than other nurses doing the same type of work!

The PSA has issued notice of strike action by its 3500 Mental Health nurses for 24 hours on Monday 22 August in support of its pay claim. The action will impact services in many parts of the country where the PSA has wide coverage.*

District Health Boards spokesperson and Tairawhiti CEO Jim Green says the PSAs public claims are wrong and it needs to come clean with the real reason for the strike.

“To say they’re striking for the same rates as other nurses is misleading – we’ve offered them exactly the same deal as other nurses, but they want more. The difference is that the PSA wants automatic progression to the top pay rates for community nurses – DHBs have said yes to the pay rates, but want the last few steps to be based on skills and merit.

“We’re not suggesting anything new or different,” says Mr Green, “it’s how we pay other nurses and during these very talks the PSA accepted this very system for two other health groups.

“The sticking point is mental health nurses working in the community outside hospitals. The PSA argues that the job of their members is in some way more important or harder than thousands of other nurses working in the same way. Not only is that unfair, but it’s simply not true.”

“The other sticking point is penal rates – we’re proposing the same penal rates as other nurses get, but the PSA wants to keep penal rates that are better. You can’t say you want national consistency but take it only when it suits.

“Patient safety is always our primary concern and DHBs are using the provisions of the Employment Relations Act to ensure that patient safety is maintained,” says Mr Green


*The Areas most affected by the notice will be PSA Mental and Public Health nurses in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, West Coast and Canterbury – In Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau, the action only involves Mental Health nurses NOT public health nurses.


NZNO PSA Claim (as amended @ 4/7/05) DHB Offer (as @ 18/8/05)
Step 5 54,000 54,000 54,000
Step 4 48,600 48,764 48,600
Step 3 46,000 46,249 46,000
Step 2 43,300 43,436 43,300
Step 1 40,000 40,000 40,000

Community MH & Public Health Nurses
NZNO (still under negotiation) PSA Claim (as amended @ 4/7/05) DHB Offer (as @ 18/8/05)
Step 6 PSA offer is virtually the same as the offer to NZNO 61,472 60,770 incl. PDRP OR by achievement of agreed criteria
Step 5 59,636 59,270 incl. PDRP OR by achievement of agreed criteria
Step 4 56,304 56,770 plus PDRP (of either $2500 or $4000)
Step 3 54,000 54,000
Step 2 51,665 51,665
Step 1 48,764 48,600
PDRP: Professional Development & Recognition Programmes

These are effectively payments for additional skills training and personal development programmes.



Alcohol and Drug Workers


Dental Therapists/Assistants



Family Therapists

Health Promotion Advisors

Health Protection Officers

(Hospital) Play Specialists



Pharmacy assistants


(Maori/ Pacific) Mental Health Workers



Recreation Officers

Social Workers

Speech Language Therapists

Needs Assessors



Visiting Neurodevelopmental Therapists

Child Therapists

Snr Allied Health Clinicians (PA)


Anaesthetic Technicians


Biomedical Technicians

Sterile Supply Technicians/Officers

Clinical Perfusionists

Cardiac Technicians

Dental Technicians

Electrical Technicians

Food Supervisors

Lab Technologists/Technicians

Medical Photographers



Respiratory Technicians

Vision Hearing Testers

Renal Dialysis Technicians

Clinical Engineering Officers

ECG Technicians

Neurophysiology/Physiology Techs

Sleep Technologists/Scientists

Scientific Officers

Senior Technical Positions


Managers up to tier 4, who are not senior clinicians


Mental Health RNs - Inpatient

Mental Health RNs - Community

Mental Health ENs

Crisis MH (DAO)

Mental Health Nurse (out patient)

Community Mental Health Workers

HCAs/Psych Assistants

Crisis Mental Health Nurses

Public Health Nurses

Senior Nurses

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