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Plunket Moves Towards Pay Parity

7 February 2006

Plunket Moves Towards Pay Parity

Plunket staff throughout the country are voting on a pay offer bringing Plunket pay rates for nurses and community health workers in line with the district health board (DHB) multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) July 2005 rates.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is recommending that it's around 600 Plunket members vote for the settlement in ratification meetings which finish on March 9.

NZNO negotiator Chris Wilson said the negotiations had been very positive, with Plunket management strongly supporting the principle of pay parity.

"We are very pleased with the settlement as it achieves what we set out to do," she said.

"It is very positive that a large employer in the primary healthcare sector has accepted pay parity is needed for recruitment and retention - a growing issue for Plunket."

Chris Wilson said the settlement sent a strong signal that the primary health sector must achieve pay parity with public hospitals or face a recruitment and retention crisis.

Negotiations between NZNO and over 600 primary health employers continue this month.

Chris Wilson said the Plunket offer includes a 13 percent pay increase, in three installments, for registered and Plunket nurses, Community Karitane, and Kaiawhina and also includes the DHB allowances for professional development. Administrative staff will receive a five percent pay rise, backdated to August.

"This is the first stage of achieving parity. The 05/06 agreement meets the 2005 DHB rates and further pay increases will be negotiated in the 06/07 bargaining round," she said.

The settlement also includes the same bargaining fee clause as the DHB MECA, under which non-NZNO members must pay a bargaining fee to NZNO in order to gain the rewards of the NZNO-negotiated deal.

"We are very happy to have that provision in the agreement and believe it reflects the fact that Plunket values its bargaining relationship with NZNO," Chris Wilson said.

ENDS

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