Palliative Care Funding Should Deliver Pay Parity
21 December 2006
Palliative Care Funding Should Deliver Pay Parity for Hospice Nurses
NZNO welcomes the announcement by Health Minister Pete Hodgson that an additional $4.7 million in funding will be available for palliative care providers.
NZNO Organiser Mark Lennox says it is vital that the bulk of this funding goes to hospices, the primary providers of palliative care. “Hospices around New Zealand need a consistent funding mechanism from DHBs. Right now there are massive variations in the funding passed on to hospices,” Mark Lennox says.
NZNO has been negotiating for a Multi Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) with Hospice providers. The aim of these negotiations is to gain parity of pay, terms and conditions with DHB Nurses. Hospices have agreed in principle to a MECA that would achieve this but say they need funding to implement such an agreement. Full implementation would cost approximately $2.45 million.
Many hospices have made substantial improvements to nursing staff base pay rates in 2006 but most have not been able to match DHB penal rates and allowances. Today’s announcement provides the funds to make that happen. What is needed now is the will to extend fair pay to those nurses dedicated to top quality palliative care.