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Collectivised Nursing Workforce Now 40,000 Strong

New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Media Release
17 December 2007

Collectivised Nursing Workforce Now 40,000 Strong

New Zealand’s nurses, midwives and caregivers are stronger than ever as membership of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation passes 40,000 for the first time.

NZNO membership stands at 40,130, an increase of over 1000 members in the last twelve months. At the same time in 2001, there were just over 30,000 NZNO members.

NZNO CEO Geoff Annals says that nurses, midwives and caregivers see considerable value in joining NZNO which is not only the health sector’s largest union but also the largest professional body of nurses in New Zealand.

“2007 has been a tremendously successful year for NZNO,” Geoff Annals says. “Most people will know about the settlement reached with DHBs that achieved important advances for our 20,000 members working in public hospitals and more effective engagement between management and staff. But there has been much more work going on than that. Earlier this year a national agreement covering our members working in Primary Health was signed with over 500 GPs and Medical Centres around the country. Our Fair Share for Aged Care campaign has generated enough progress that we recently initiated bargaining for a MECA with Aged Care providers and we continue to bargain collectively for many of our members working in the private sector.”

A further development in Primary Health is Te Rau Kokiri, the campaign for a national collective agreement for NZNO members working for Maori and Iwi Primary Health providers. NZNO is working with employers to create an employment agreement that encompasses Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Tikanga Maori.

“We have also seen the establishment of the Safe Staffing / Healthy Workplaces Unit at DHBNZ This initiative, under joint NZNO / DHB governance, is a massive step towards addressing issues effecting nursing workforce capacity in New Zealand’s Public Hospitals,” Geoff Annals says.
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“2008 will see a real focus on safe staffing and healthy workplaces,” says Geoff Annals. “In DHBs, we have introduced initiatives through our collective bargaining that we will be working to see implemented properly. In other sectors, we will look at what constitutes safe staffing levels and how we can work with employers and the Ministry of Health to achieve genuine improvements both for our members and in outcomes for the wider public using our health system.”

“As we reflect on our success, our attention is on the future and the many things we can achieve for our members,” Geoff Annals says.

ENDS

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