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Stop supporting voluntary student membership, nurses urge

17 August 2011

Stop supporting voluntary student membership, nurses urge

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is urging the Government to stop supporting the ACT Party’s Bill that would end universal membership of students’ associations.

NZNO believes if the bill is passed it will be disastrous for students and for the organisations that will need to provide the support currently provided by student unions.

Nursing student and chair of the NZNO student unit, Matthew Flutey says, “There is considerable evidence that shows voluntary membership of student unions leads to the loss of services. And that means a higher student drop-out rate; increased costs of servicing students’ health; and limited student representation on relevant academic committees.”

“The activities and opportunities that we consider an intrinsic part of student life will be gone.”

“NZNO has almost 4000 nursing student members studying at tertiary institutes though New Zealand. In addition, many nurses undertake short courses on specific areas of health, professional development programmes, return-to-nursing programmes, and competency and bridging programmes for overseas trained nurses,” Flutey says, “We rely on the services our students’ associations provide.”

“Voluntary student membership poses huge risks for students, student unions and tertiary institutions. We urge the Government to withdraw its support for the bill and instead put forward a reasonable and more enduring alternative to ACT’s extreme Bill, and let students determine the membership model of their own students’ association.”

New Zealand Nurses Organisation
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is the leading professional body of nurses and nursing union in Aotearoa New Zealand, representing over 45 000 nurses and health workers. Te Runanga o Aotearoa is the arm through which our Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is articulated. Our members include nurses, midwives, students, kaimahi hauora, health care workers and allied health professionals.

The NZNO vision is “Freed to care, Proud to nurse”. Our members enhance the health and wellbeing of all people of Aotearoa New Zealand and are united in their professional and industrial aspirations.

ENDS

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