The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has confirmed a nationwide 24-hour strike will begin at 7am tomorrow.

Negotiations between the union and District Health Boards continued yesterday, facilitated by the Employment Relations Authority. However, NZNO industrial services manager Cee Payne said the strike would go ahead.

“We are advocating for the value of the nursing and midwifery professions, and for equality and safe public health systems.”

She said nurses did want to see a resolution to the pay dispute.

“We remain available for further talks to resolve the negotiation impasse and to achieve an offer that is acceptable to our members.”

DHBs spokeswoman Helen Mason said it was “very disappointed” the strike was going ahead.

“Especially given that we have yet to receive those recommendations (from ERA) and neither party has had a chance to review them.”

She said once the recommendations had been received, DHBs would take their time considering them. She said DHBs had been working hard for the past day to find a resolution to the strike action.

Over the past three months DHBs had also been preparing for any strike action.
“We have been very focussed on preparing for strike action. DHBs have been working for months that they are very, very well prepared.”

She said anyone with an urgent medical need during the strike should not hesitate to dial 111 or go to an emergency department.

“For more usual day to day queries, please remember you have the option to contact GPs and pharmacists and the Healthline number.”

Meanwhile midwives are reassuring pregnant women that most midwives will still be working tomorrow.

Midwifery Employee and Representation Advisory Service spokeswoman Caroline Conroy said community LMC midwives were not employees of the DHBs.

“Most hospital employed midwives are members of MERAS and will be working their rostered shifts tomorrow.”

She said that most maternity units would not be doing ‘inductions of labour’ or elective caesarean sections.

“Some clinics will be cancelled but otherwise maternity services will available as usual.”

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