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Fairly Paid, Adequate Nursing Workforce Vital

23 February 2006

Fairly Paid and Adequately Staffed Nursing Workforce Vital to Health Sector Productivity

“Any public sector review of expenditure which includes the health sector must acknowledge the need for a fairly paid and adequately staffed nursing workforce,” said the New Zealand Nurses Organisation chief executive Geoff Annals today.

Commenting on government’s announcement today of a review of the public sector, Geoff Annals said nurses needed to be fully involved at every level of a review and the review must not interrupt current processes to ensure fair pay and safe staffing for the nursing workforce.

“There must not be any move to cut funding for vitally needed pay increases and increases to staffing levels,” he said.

“NZNO is currently engaged in negotiations to achieve fair pay for the nursing workforce in primary health, including in Hospice. NZNO is also currently campaigning for an urgently needed significant increase of government funding targeted to nurses’ and caregivers’pay in aged care.”

A joint committee of NZNO and DHBNZ is due to make recommendations on safe staffing in the public sector in May.

“Nurses are already performing to the maximum and we don’t need to focus on improving nurses’ performance to improve health sector performance and productivity,” he said.

“Significant extra funding is still required for fair pay for the nursing workforce in primary health and aged care and to ensure safe staffing, and any review needs to take account of this."

ENDS

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