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“Value Our Work” Says Nursing Workforce

15 December 2005

“Value Our Work” Say Primary Health Nursing Workforce

New Zealand Nurses Organisation members will send a message to the politicians today at 1pm when they deliver a petition at Parliament signed by over 18,000 New Zealanders calling for pay parity for primary health nursing staff with their counterparts in public hospitals.

A delegation of NZNO primary health members from Balclutha to Auckland will say their role in primary health is increasing but their pay lags behind.

By July next year a practice nurse in a GP surgery will earn around $160 less than a registered nurse in a public hospital.

“Temperatures are rising amongst our members in primary health,” said NZNO president Marion Guy today, who is a practice nurse in a busy Tauranga medical centre.

“While we are taking more and more responsibility and playing an increasing role in delivering health care in the community, our role is undervalued.”

Marion Guy said her centre was among the 660 employers who are part of historic negotiations next week for a multi employer collective agreement, beginning next Tuesday.

“The negotiations bring together primary health organisations from right across the country and cover 3000 NZNO members who deliver health services to the community,”she said.

Marion Guy said additional government funding for pay parity was vital to the success of the negotiations.

“The success of Government’s primary health care strategy depends on a skilled and dedicated nursing workforce.

“But nursing shortages in primary health are already an issue and the nurses needed will not be there unless those nurses are fairly paid fort the important job they do.”

ENDS

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