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NZNO Looks Forward To Working For Fair Pay

19 October 2005

Nurses Organisation Looks Forward To Working With Health Minister For Fair Pay in Aged Care and Primary Health

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is looking forward to working with new Health Minister Pete Hodgson to address priority issues for the health workforce.

NZNO Organising Services Manager Cee Payne-Harker said Pete Hodgson had worked constructively with unions in aged care in his associate Health Minister role.

“At the top of the priority list for our members is fair pay in aged care and pay parity in primary health,” said Cee Payne-Harker.

Cee Payne-Harker said underpaid caregivers, nurses and support workers in aged care should soon see an end to their long wait for fair pay.

NZNO has welcomed the inclusion of the promise to address aged care funding issues in NZ First’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour in next year’s budget.

“The NZ First position, added to Labour’s election promise to “significantly increase funding for aged care”, United Future’s policy to ensure pay parity between nurses in aged care and public hospitals and the Progressives’ election policy for parity adds up to a rock solid government commitment to fund fair pay in the sector,”said Cee Payne-Harker.

Caregivers in aged care receive around $11 an hour and nurses earn up to 50% less than their counterparts in DHBs.

Cee Payne-Harker said unions had worked with the previous Labour-led government to identify the amount required to fix the problem and the method of ensuring that extra funding actually found its way to workers’ pay packets.

“Now it’s time to deliver on the promises,” she said. “Clearly this is one issue the new government is in agreement on and all parties have promised the issue will be fixed.”

Cee Payne-Harker said it was vital that any additional funding was targeted to pay and NZNO was seeking a meeting to discuss this with Pete Hodgson.

“Providers have campaigned for additional money to close the pay gap with DHBs, and the public and all parties supporting government clearly support this, so now it is time to sit down and make it happen,” she said.

ENDS

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