District Health Boards and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation have reached an agreement that will see improvements to pay and working conditions for nurses working for the DHBs in hospitals and the community.
“The agreed settlement will provide increased pay and safe staffing initiatives worth more than $400 million,” DHB spokesperson Dale Oliff says.
“This is tremendous news for all those involved and testament to the hard work of the representatives from the teams involved.”
The agreement follows an Employment Relations Authority hearing in August and months of negotiations between the parties after the expiry of their multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) in July 2020.
The MECA covers Nurse Practitioners, Senior Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Enrolled Nurses, Registered and Senior Midwives, and Health Care Assistants who are NZNO members employed by DHBs.
Last month, DHBs presented NZNO with a settlement that included the same pay offer accepted by PSA Nursing MECAs (Auckland and Rest of NZ) and the MERAS Midwifery MECA.
The agreed settlement addresses NZNO’s concerns around safe staffing and includes several initiatives to help address workforce shortages and significant pay increases,” Ms Oliff says.
DHBs have brought forward a pay equity payment, resulting in a package over $400 million and will now work on settling the outstanding pay equity claim for nurses from NZNO and the PSA .
Ms Oliff says DHBs have invested almost a billion dollars over three years to address pay and workforce issues, while the nursing workforce has increased by more than 3,000 over the same period.
She said health workers are held in high regard and continue to play a critical role in the country’s COVID-19 response.
“Nurses are integral to the nation’s wellbeing and this settlement reflects the importance of their roles.”