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New Zealand Nurses Reject Pay Deal Offer, Meet to Deliberate on Strike Option - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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New Zealand Nurses Reject Pay Deal Offer, Meet to Deliberate on Strike Option by katty : March 26, 2018, 05:13:59 AM
Nurses have voted to reject the latest pay offer from DHBs around the country - and the nurses organisation says strike action is "likely".

An announcement on the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's website said national delegates would meet on April 18 to decide the next steps and bargaining strategies, including any recommendations for industrial action.

Members will then be balloted on whether to strike.

NZNO Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne said a majority of their members voted on this issue.

She said nurses were dealing with an ageing population and an increasingly sick population, which was leaving staff stressed.

"The issues we're dealing with have arisen from a decade of underfunding of the health system.

"Along with an increasing community need for healthcare, and ageing population, an ageing workforce, and rising costs in the delivery of healthcare.

"Our members have been reporting to us, over that decade, increased workloads, increased patient acuity meaning our patients are sicker when they arrive at the hospital, stress, fatigue, and lack of job satisfaction.

"This is contributing to high staff turnover and low staff morale."

Payne said nurses felt their skills and knowledge was undervalued.

"I would say that [strike action] is likely, in as much as, we've been talking about it.

"We're hopeful though that both Government and employers will step into this dispute to help members with their concerns about pay."

Payne said that if strikes happened, that would likely be 24 hours of all nurses walking off the job.

Registered nurse Freya Head said they didn't like to strike and leave their patients without care, but the current situation had gone on too long.

She said she had "often" thought of leaving the career.

"When I come home, every day, crying. Or I can't give care to a patient that I think is necessary care.

"You kind of look at yourself and go, okay, is this worth it?

"Is this worth my mental health? I'm giving 100 percent to my patients, I come home and have nothing to give to my family."

Registered nurse and union delegate Karen Durham said they didn't want to strike if they could help it, but they had to take a stand.

"We are running on an empty tank at the moment.

"We're stressed at work, there's overtime, and people are becoming tired and frustrated."

The decision comes after voting closed on Friday, on whether nurses would accept a revised collective agreement between nurses and DHBS.

The deal was for 27,000 nurses, hospital aides, and core midwives, to get a 2 per cent pay rise as well as a $1050 lump sum.

Source : Herald Newspaper

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