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“Fair Pay” Funding For Public Nurses

30 JUNE 2006

Aged Care Ignored in “Fair Pay” Funding For Public Nurses

As Nurses in public hospitals celebrate another MECA wage increase tomorrow, aged care Nurses pay rates will fall further behind due to lack of funding.

“The final rollout of the NZNO-DHB MECA on 1 July 2006 will mean that the gap between wages in DHBs and in aged care facilities will increase even further”, said Martin Taylor, Chief Executive of HealthCare Providers NZ.

The government gave DHBs $500 million exclusively for their Nurses so that they could address the financial impact of the NZNO MECA.

Mr. Taylor said the difference between DHB nurse pay rates and aged care provider pay rates is currently up to 50% in some cases.

“The impact of the MECA on our nurse workforce cannot be under estimated. Because aged care providers are not funded to compete with DHBs on salaries, we are losing staff every week to public hospitals. Our average staff turnover is 33%. We have quantified the annual cost of the MECA to providers as being $63 million”.

Mr. Taylor said that providers were about to begin negotiations to quantify the impact of the NZNO MECA with DHBs.

“After we have quantified the impact we will work with DHBs and the government to establish the process for compensating providers for the increased costs of having to pay higher nurse wages. We look forward to this as it is important for the future of aged care to be able to retain and attract this important group of professionals” said Mr. Taylor.


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