Government welcomes nurses settlement
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark say they are delighted nurses have voted to accept the latest offer from District Health Boards.
“Our nurses are dedicated, caring professionals and deserve decent and safe working conditions. This settlement rightly delivers the biggest pay increase nurses have seen in a decade and will put 500 more nurses in our hospitals,” says Jacinda Ardern.
“There is no question that nurses have felt undervalued over recent years. We needed to listen to their concerns and respond in the interests of both nurses and patients.
“This settlement will go a long way to addressing nurses’ concerns, but the Government accepts there is still more to be done to better support them. While today represents a conclusion of bargaining it also marks the start of a long term programme to rebuild our public health system and the status of the nursing profession.
“This Government is committed to nurses; we value the work they do and we look forward to working closely over the coming years to build a better health system,” Jacinda Ardern said.
David Clark echoed those sentiments, saying today’s announcement of a ‘yes’ vote from nurses is great news.
“As Health Minister the one thing I hear over and over again from the public is just how good our nurses are.
“They are at the heart of so much that our public health service does and deserve a settlement that recognises the particular challenges they face, including their limited pay scale and safe staffing issues.
“I know nurses will also welcome the commitment to pay equity and the ongoing commitment from DHBs and the Ministry of Health to work on safe staffing through the Accord signed last week.
“I commend the NZNO and DHBs for finding common ground after such lengthy, and at times, testing negotiations,” said David Clark.