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Greens want Budget bail-out for struggling nurses

24 May, 2004

Greens want Budget bail-out for struggling nurses

The Green Party is calling on the Government to respond in the Budget to the near-unanimous call from nurses for fair pay and safe staffing levels.

"Some 98 per cent of the members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation have voted in favour of fair pay and safe staffing," Green Health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley said today. "The Budget now gives the Government the perfect opportunity to show that it listens to workers and that it honours its own rhetoric on pay equity.

"Nurses are struggling under excessive workloads that place patient safety at risk. At the same time, they are victims of historical pay inequity that has seriously undervalued professions predominantly staffed by women."

The Green Party is backing the call from the Nurses Organisation for a binding ratio of one nurse to between four and six patients, depending on the size of hospital. It is also calling for a significant change to the Employment Relations Act to make it a breach of good faith not to take genuine steps to address pay and employment equity issues.

ENDS

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