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Nurses Vote To Bargain Nationally for Fair Pay

24 May 2004

Nurses Vote To Bargain Nationally for Fair Pay

20,000 nurses and midwives will negotiate nationally to achieve Fair Pay and safe staffing levels after an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote at each of the 21 District Health Boards in a national ballot.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation members voted nearly unanimously in favour of both joining forces and focussing claims in negotiations on achieving Fair Pay and safe staffing levels.

NZNO spokesperson Laila Harré said today the result was an average of 98% in favour across the 21 District Health Boards, ranging from 94% in one DHB to 100% in another. The votes were counted on Friday after 11 days of voting in hospitals around the country.

Laila Harré said strong support was also demonstrated by a strong turnout, particularly in the Auckland area where around 70% of NZNO members participated in the vote.

“This result shows the depth of determination of nurses and midwives to win on the twin issues of Fair Pay and safe staffing in 2004,” said Laila Harré.

“Our members know that they have the best opportunity in more than a generation to win on these issues. The government supports pay equity in the state sector and is in a better financial position to fund fair pay than any previous government. Nurses and midwives are organised, united and determined.

“There is a looming crisis in recruitment and retention with an aging nursing workforce and an aging population. These professions must be made more rewarding and safe if we want to meet our workforce needs in the near future.”

Laila Harré said the pre-negotiation process would begin between NZNO and DHBNZ at the end of May.

ENDS

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