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Nurses Organisation election manifesto release

June 23, 2002

Nurses Organisation first off the blocks with election manifesto release

Embargoed until Midday Sunday, June 23

NZNO has prepared an election manifesto and sent it to the major political parties.

“We hope the experience and advice of our more than 32,000 members will be taken into account when the parties are preparing their election policies,” president Jane O’Malley said. “While much has been done to maintain the health sector, much remains to be done. Quality health care for all relies on quick and easy access to qualified staff and NZNO remains committed to safe staffing levels with improved pay and working conditions. Our manifesto contains a ten-point plan to achieve this.” [attached below]

The manifesto looks at progress made since the 1999 election and what still needs to be achieved.

“The Public Health and Disability Act, passed by the new Government in 2000, required district health boards (DHBs) to deliver ‘properly co-ordinated health services’ but we are still having difficulties getting DHBs to co-operate on multi-employer collective agreements (MECA). Those that have been achieved in the public sector have required months of arduous negotiations. And in Auckland, nurses and midwives employed by the three DHBs have reached the stage where they see striking as the only way of achieving the goal of a MECA. This is despite such agreements being promoted under the Employment Relations Act,” O’Malley said.

Safe staffing, improved wages and working conditions, and workforce development are the three key areas of concern outlined in the manifesto.


NZNO calls on the incoming 2002 government to:

1. Undertake a national tripartite review of nurses’ wages to improve wages and working conditions thus easing nationwide recruitment and retention problems.

2. Encourage and facilitate the consolidation of collective employment agreements across the health sector to ensure consistent wages and conditions.

3. Promote nursing leadership to ensure support for nurses at the clinical level.

4. Support safe staffing policies and strategies to ensure acceptable workloads and the provision of safe patient care.

5. Increase funding to the aged care sector enabling the establishment of labour standards for wages, training and skills mix in this sector.

6. Develop a comprehensive education and training frame work to ensure accessibility, portability and consistency of qualifications and learning.

7. Allocate funding for more enrolled nurses’ courses.

8. Fund “return to nursing” programmes to help recruitment and retention problems.

9. Abolish the student loan scheme and provide incentives to increase recruitment of Maori/Pacific people to nursing and midwifery.

10. Commit to the introduction of a portable workplace based superannuation scheme.


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