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Senior Doctors Throw Their Support Behind Striking Nurses

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora is fully supporting striking nurses in their fight for fair pay and safe staffing.

30,000 members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation are walking off the job for eight hours today after turning down the latest pay offer from the DHBs.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says no one knows better than doctors how valuable nurses are and the dedicated care they give to patients around the country.

“There is a staffing crisis across the entire healthcare sector and it’s time to stop ignoring the toll it is taking on our health workforce and services. Every day is a tough day in the health system right now,” she says.

“It’s playing out in high levels of burnout and skilled and experienced people heading across the Tasman for better pay and conditions”.

Today’s strike represents the deep frustration of frontline health staff about the undervaluing of their work.

“It’s disappointing that the Government and DHBs have asked nurses and other health workers for their commitment during Covid but are not prepared to repay that commitment in kind,” says Sarah Dalton.

While nurses are fighting for pay which reflects the value of their work, they also want to ensure safe staffing levels in hospitals and DHB facilities.

Sarah Dalton says, “we need to see planning and investment in the future of our health workforce prioritised, but importantly we need to be investing in and valuing the workforce we have right now”.

“Nurses are taking this strike action as a last resort, and we would urge DHBs to step up and prevent further disruption to health services by coming through with an appropriate offer”.

ASMS is currently in its own collective agreement negotiations with DHBs. If there is no progress, it will begin stopwork meetings for members in August to consider next steps

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