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It’s Official – NZers Think Nurses Are Underpaid

27 July, 2003

It’s Official – New Zealanders
Think Nurses Are Underpaid

A poll released today by the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation shows an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders think nurses are underpaid.

73% of New Zealanders questioned in the July UMR Omnibus Poll said nurses should earn at least as much as teachers, police and junior doctors.

Nearly 90% believe nurses should earn at least a much as teachers.

“The poll is an endorsement of the NZNO goal of a significant pay increase for nursing staff,” said Geoff Annals, Nurses’ Organisation chief executive today.

“It shows that the value the public place on nursing is not reflected in the amount their employers have been prepared to pay.”

Geoff Annals said NZNO was embarking on a major campaign to achieve significant pay increases for nursing staff.

“While other similar occupations have had pay hikes in the past 10 years, nursing staff have lagged behind,” he said.

“The time is right to change that. Government has a commitment to pay equity and the public clearly backs nurses being paid what they are worth.”

Currently nurses with similar qualifications and experience lag way behind teachers, police and junior doctors.

While a nurse with a three-year degree starts at around $30,000, teachers start on $35,000, police on over $40,000 and junior doctors on over $44,000.

At the top of the scale the gap considerably widens. Nurses hit the top of their pay scale at just over $41,000, compared to police at nearly $20,000 more.


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