New Zealand
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Government makes historic pay equity offer for nurses

The Government has added $1.5 billion to an interim pay equity settlement that if accepted will see nurses employed by Te Whatu Ora receive additional increases to pay rates and a lump sum payment to address back pay issues, Minister of Health Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today.

More than 30,000 nurses employed by Te Whatu Ora will soon vote on a pay equity rate and backpay offer following an agreement on the proposed terms of a settlement that have been reached between Te Whatu Ora, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), and the Public Service Association (PSA).

"I'm so pleased the NZNO and PSA leadership have reached this historic agreement with Te Whatu Ora to ensure the predominantly female nursing workforce finally receives the pay they deserve," Ayesha Verrall said.

"If agreed, the payment will mean nurses receive two pay rises in nine months - the first being the interim 14% interim pay equity adjustments paid in April this year.

"This deal brings the total value of the pay equity settlement to $4 billion.

"When you add together the pay equity increases and collective bargaining increases since we became Government in 2017 a new graduate nurses starting salary has gone up by 40.7% and the salary for registered nurses at the top of their scale has risen by 49.2%.

"I want to recognise the challenge to get to this point. The past few years have seen nurses and our whole health workforce come under enormous pressure due to COVID.

"But the Government's commitment to our nursing workforce does not end with pay equity, we're focused on what more we can do to ease the pressure on nurses.

"Just yesterday we announced an additional 830 nurses to be trained as part of our ongoing efforts to stabilise the work force.

There has also been an 8% pay boost for GP and community nurses.

"This Government places great importance on the contribution nurses make to the health system and the critical role they have in caring for the health needs of our whnau and communities," said Ayesha Verrall.

In December 2022 the Employment Relations Authority approved Te Whatu Ora's application to pay around 30,000 registered nurses, enrolled nurses and health assistants interim pay equity payments.

The offer comes after ongoing and constructive dialogue by the three organisations on pay equity following Employment Relations Authority approval of an application from Te Whatu Ora for mediation.

Source: Beehive