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New Zealand Nurses to Embark on 2 Day Strike to Press Home their Demands - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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New Zealand Nurses to Embark on 2 Day Strike to Press Home their Demands by katty : May 28, 2018, 09:58:14 AM
- This is going to be first strike in 30 Years
- They are to strike for 2 days

Thousands of nurses fed up with low pay and long hours have voted strongly to strike for two days in July – though a fresh offer from the district health boards (DHBs) may yet see the action pulled.

The strikes are scheduled for July 5 and 12, to run for 24 hours from 7am. The dates are in the middle of flu season. The decision was made based on a 30-day ballot that went out to about 27,000 members of the New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) on April 23.

The DHBs will present a fresh DHB collective agreement offer to the NZNO on Monday. The union has the ability to reject it outright, or if it is strong enough it will be offered to union members. They would then vote on it between June 5 and 15.

The DHBs have made two previous offers, both of which were rejected. The most recent, in March, offered a 2 per cent pay increase from last November (4 per cent senior nurses and midwives), another 2 per cent bump in August, and a $1050 lump sum payment.

A Government-formed independent panel chaired by former Speaker Margaret Wilson has since received submissions from both sides. It recommended a 3 per cent pay increase for the next three years and a $2000 lump sum payment, as well as making recommendations regarding nurses' working conditions.

NZNO industrial services manager Cee Payne previously said the panel's report "fell short" in several areas, in particular around prioritising the one-off payment over investing it directly into the salary scale. The union wants nurses to gain pay parity with teachers.

Payne on Monday said the DHBs new offer was not yet known to nurses, but it did not have to match what had been recommended by the independent panel.

If members voted to reject the offer, the next course of action would be striking, she said.

NZNO chief executive Memo Musa said the union has had a first meeting with DHB representatives to prepare for industrial action in case the new offer is not accepted, and full commitment to providing life preserving services would be negotiated.

"Patient safety is paramount. We will be compliant with the Code of Good Faith for the public health sector."

Musa said striking was a very difficult decision for members and was not taken lightly.
Source: Stuff

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