The parties had agreed to meet by March 31, 2020 to discuss the results of DHB/NZNO`s pay equity process, which was scheduled to be completed by December 31 of this year. This year, they will also conduct a joint exercise to expand the type of nurse and designated RN prescribing positions. “Nurses in these workplaces provide services such as immunization, patient care programs and triage at the point of entry. They also provide medical or health advice, which often reduces hospital admissions. Fewer nurses will make these services less available or more expensive, which will have an impact on health and create additional requirements for the health budget. “I know that the work I do every day as a primary care nurse helps people take care of their health and their families, so they can continue to work and be active in our local community. “These nurses provide specialized care and advice that often reduce hospital admissions. Fewer caregivers will reduce the availability and cost of these services,” says Wilson. Despite the rapprochement with the Minister of Health, the Department of Health and DHB officials from NZNO and organizations such as the New Zealand Medical Association, Green Cross Limited and General Practice NZ, additional funds are not provided to achieve pay parity with DHB nurses. Meanwhile, Wilson said nine NZNO member firms did not meet the legal obligation to participate in collective bargaining. She said nzNO was considering its legal possibilities with respect to these practices.
“Starting in May of this year, an experienced nurse, who is covered by the MECA PHC, will be paid 10 per cent less than an experienced nurse in an HHB. That`s a big difference, and our pollsters say it has a huge impact on their lives, including working extra shifts, to get by, wait for holidays and family time and not have the means to afford a house. NZNO DHB`s (MECA) new multi-employer collective agreement, ratified last year following a long-running wage and strike controversy, related to a salary increase of 3 per cent per year plus the addition of two additional salary brackets (the new stage 6, which will come into effect in May of this year and a stage 7 in May next year) for the salary schedule for registered nurses based on the three-year TERM of the MECA. It also contains the obligation to negotiate pay equity and implement results from the end of this year. She said NZNO members were concerned about what this meant to their communities and wanted them to be informed of the upcoming problem. They will ask decision-makers to recognize the value of these nurses by addressing the issue of pay. They hope that donors will recognize the value of this investment in community health when NZNO returns to negotiation next week. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says a crisis in the primary health sector (general offices and accident and medical centres) is at risk if funds are not increased to allow registered nursing practices and salaries equivalent to those of nurses in the District Health Service (DHB). General firms and the nurses` union NZNO have agreed to collectively lobby the government for more funds to increase nurses` pay as part of a one-year agreement that nurses voted on this week. She said that DHBs were only able to offer the new RN measures when the government increased funding and that part of the primary health MCA was an agreement for NZNO and NZMA to lobby together for the government as soon as possible (no later than next month) to increase funding for the primary health sector.