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Canterbury Nurse Maude Staff To Strike For Parity

24 August 2005

Canterbury’s Nurse Maude Staff To Strike For Parity

Canterbury Nurse Maude nurses working in the hospice, hospital and district nursing and community services have today voted overwhelmingly to strike for 24 hours on 9 September in pursuit of parity with their district health board counterparts.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have been seeking pay parity in negotiations since April 2005.

“Our members are calling on the government and Canterbury DHB to resolve this serious situation at Nurse Maude by providing the funding for what is now market rates,” said NZNO spokeswoman Joy Coughlan.

A registered nurse at Nurse Maude with five years experience receives $7,000 less basic salary a year, as well as significantly less in penal rates and allowances, than their counterpart employed by the District Health Board.

“This has a significant effect on Nurse Maude’s ability to retain existing staff and recruit new staff, already resulting in our members working unacceptable long hours of work during a day and numbers of days consecutively to provide quality care and provision of services,” she said.

Joy Coughlan said Nurse Maude was unable to recruit new staff or retain current staff and was struggling to maintain the excellent service to the people of Canterbury that they were renowned for.

“The current offer of 2.1% for the first year, and 2.9% for the second year with no movement on weekends, afternoons or nights does not even meet inflation for the first year, and nothing to address the serious staffing problems,” she said.

“In most areas, DHBs employ district nurses in New Zealand directly, and those district nurses are covered by the DHB/NZNO MECA receiving significantly more remuneration for delivering the same service.”


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