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Nurses settlement puts pressure on pay

17 December 2004

Nurses settlement puts pressure on pay for other health workers

The Public Service Association (PSA) is congratulating nurses for reaching a wage settlement with district health boards, but is warning the agreement accentuates the pay and employment issues other health workers face.

The PSA is the biggest union for mental health staff, allied health professionals (including social workers, dental therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and pharmacists), technical and support staff and clerical and administrative workers. The PSA represents both mental and public heath nurses.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says all health workers are underpaid and deserve an urgent response to their salary needs.

“We congratulate nurses and their union for achieving a pay settlement with district health boards. While nurses have yet to ratify the agreement, it represents a considerable advance on their current pay and conditions.

“It’s particularly important to note that this settlement could only be achieved by district health boards agreeing to seek extra funding from the government. Other health staff also have an expectation that the government will provide extra funding to district health boards to enable them to conclude a pay settlement, rather than expecting any improvement in wages to come from already over stretched budgets.

“The PSA has initiated bargaining with district health boards and we are seeking to develop multi-employer collective agreements (MECAs) in the health sector. We have already made it clear to the government that additional funding will be needed to settle the agreements,” Brenda Pilott said.

ENDS

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