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DHBs look for middle ground in nurses' pay and workload claim

Photo: DHBs look for middle ground in nurses' pay and workload claim
New Zealand's District Health Boards are working on ways to address nurses’ concerns about their pay and their conditions of work.

DHB spokesperson, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says nurses are critical to providing health services and DHBs are very aware of the pressure many are feeling in their day-to-day work.

“Nurses are highly respected and essential members of the health team and we don’t want them thinking they have to take industrial action to be heard. Obviously we’re disappointed that our latest offer has been rejected but DHBs will ask for an urgent meeting with the NZNO to find a way forward.”

“We appreciate nurses see these negotiations as a chance to address some important issues for them. DHBs acknowledge these pressing issues and, while we can’t address them all at once, we want to give nurses confidence there is a clear pathway to addressing them.”
To date, DHBs have offered an immediate pay rise and a lump sum payment, as well as a commitment to safer staffing and progressing the NZNO’s pay equity claim.

“We also have to live within the reality of the funding constraints on everyone in health.

“DHBs are constantly challenged to deliver more and better care and grow a workforce to meet the demands of an aging population with increasingly complex conditions and chronic illnesses. Nurses are critical to that and we are committed to finding a solution that recognises and starts to address their concerns,” says Dr Bloomfield.

The most recent DHB offer
• 24 month term (reduced from the 36 month term offered in December 2017) – this aligns with the outcome of the Pay Equity process
• 4 percent (2 + 2) for most nurses and midwives
• 6 percent (4 + 2) for senior nurses and midwives – recognising and supporting their senior role
• Establish a separate scale for leadership development roles – recognising the importance of developing future clinical leaders
• Lump sum payment of $1,050 (increased from $350 in December 2017)
• A commitment to implement Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) in all DHBs by 2021
• A commitment to work with NZNO on its pay equity claim
• Provide a permanent escalation mechanism to deal with any staffing issues that arise during the term of the agreement so we don’t need to wait until bargaining.

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