Nurses have voted to reject a pay offer of two per cent a year for three years offered by the 20 district health boards, reports the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation.
The DHBs’ offer – that had been endorsed by the NZNO negotiating team – had been widely criticised in social media by some of the 27,000 nurses, midwives and health care assistants covered by the proposed deal.
Lesley Harry, the NZNO industrial advisor, said the members rejection of the offer – which was presented to members at 400 meetings over the past few weeks – reflected their view that the offer was not enough. “(The offer) failed to respect nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants and the huge effort and value they bring to patients and our communities,” said Harry.
She said the next formal step was likely to be mediation between NZNO and the DHBs, with negotiating team confident that it now had a “good steer from members” though it would also be seeking additional feedback on areas of the offer that needed to change.
“Of course nurses and DHB employers will be doing their best to reach an employment agreement acceptable to both parties,” said Harry.
“Consideration of industrial action will only occur if NZNO and DHBs cannot achieve a resolution of the issues members have raised,” Harry confirmed.
(Extended article with further comment from Harry on failure of pay equity ‘carrot’ can be read at Nursing Review)