Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement

The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled.

“I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today.

“This deals with the immediate issue of making sure nurses get a pay rise, but I also acknowledge that we still have to conclude their pay-equity claim.

“Nurses have been under-paid and under-valued for a long time, and the Government is committed to doing something about it.

“Pay equity is what will really make a difference to nurses and others and I look forward to progress in those negotiations, which are currently under way.”

Other issues of concern to nurses, including staffing levels, were also being addressed, Andrew Little said.

“Nurses, rightly, are worried about things like safe-staffing levels and filling the many vacant nursing positions right across the health system,” he said.

“The review I ordered in August of the Safe Staffing Accord is well under way, and action is being taken to recruit nurses into those vacant positions.”