New Offer Received For NZNO Te Whatu Ora Members
Members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO), who are employed by Te Whatu Ora, have received a new collective agreement offer from their employer. The offer was received in the latest round of negotiations on 17 July.
NZNO Chief Executive Paul Goulter says the offer is an improvement over the last one, but there are still significant gaps between the offer and what members have claimed around issues of pay, safe staffing and health and safety.
"Our processes are democratic, and it will be up to the 35,000 or so of our members who work for Te Whatu Ora to decide collectively whether it is good enough."
The offer comes a day before a ballot for 24 hour strike action on 9-10 August by Te Whatu Ora members is due to close (at midday on 19 July). Paul Goulter said that if members vote in favour of the strike, it will go ahead unless members vote to ratify the recently received offer. A ratification vote on the offer will take place during the first week of August.
"Members had become fed up at the lack of bargaining progress. The current agreement expired in October and Te Whatu Ora didn’t even produce a first offer on anything until March. Since then progress has remained excruciatingly slow, and that is why members demanded a strike ballot."
Meanwhile, NZNO Te Whatu Ora members are also set to vote on a Pay Equity offer from the Government and Te Whatu Ora, which, Paul Goulter says, is meant to address long-standing gender discrimination.
"Pay Equity is actually an entirely separate process from collective agreement negotiations."
The Pay Equity ratification ballot will open on 24 July and close on 31 July. The collective agreement ratification ballot will open on 1 August and close on 7 August.