DHB Nurses Settlement Will Haemorrhage Nurses From Not-for-Profit Aged Care
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) congratulates DHB nurses on the settlement of their pay claim late last week, but says that the settlement will result in a hemorrhaging of nurses from the aged residential care sector.
NZCCSS says that before the settlement, DHB nurses received around $10,000 per annum more than nurses in the community/not-for-profit sector. Post settlement, that gap is more in the vicinity of $20,000.
“Community/not-for-profit aged care providers were already struggling to retain nurses,” says NZCCSS Executive Officer Nikki Hurst. “Even before the settlement, providers within our membership were reducing bed numbers and closing admissions because of the loss of staff to better paying DHBs.”
NZCCSS is one of a number of bodies that have lobbied Government to increase funding to community and/not-for-profit aged care sector for the pay claim and working conditions to be made equally across the board to eliminate inequity for the nurses working outside DHBS.
“Funding needs to be provided so that all nurses receive the well-deserved increase irrespective of who is employing them,” says Nikki Hurst.
Nikki Hurst says that action is needed urgently if New Zealanders are to continue to have choice in aged care. “If not-for-profit/community providers of aged care are forced to close, families who cannot afford to pay premium fees will find it increasingly difficult to access a residential care bed for loved ones.