Kiwi nurses and midwives ready to reject pay deal

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Kiwi nurses and midwives ready to reject pay deal Cate Broughton 20:33, March 18 2018
NZ nurses use social media to publicise their struggles on the job.
Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants are preparing for strike action despite having until Friday to vote on a new pay deal.
District Health Boards (DHBs) have offered 27,000 New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) members a 2 per cent annual increase in salary, a $1050 bonus, and a commitment to a pay equity settlement no later than July 1, 2019.
A Christchurch nurse employed by Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), who did not want to be named, said she and many of her colleagues had voted against accepting the deal. CAMERON BURNELL/STUFF
Finance Minister Grant Robertson says teachers and nurses look set to win from coalition Government’s first budget.
Nurses were worth more and needed to fight for more “not only for money but support within our working environment”, she said,
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“We do have a shortage of nurses and we notice it most shifts. It’s often ‘let’s hope no-one rings in sick today’ because there is just no-one … it’s a struggle. Advertisement
“There are some wards where if there’s no-one [to cover the shift], they have to work one nurse down.”
The nurse and mother of three graduated as a registered nurse in 2010 and earned an hourly rate of $24.30 on average across day, afternoon and night shifts.
Union meetings had been tense as many were extremely anxious about losing pay during any strike and leaving patients without care, she said.
Another nurse, who has four children, said she did not know how she would pay her mortgage if she went on strike.
The pay offer, which was made after more than a month of mediation, covers a two-year period from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2019.
An earlier offer that included the same salary increase was rejected by members late last year.
NZNO said a ballot on industrial action would be held if members rejected the offer.
A comment by Finance Minister Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q + A programme on March 11 that nurses and teachers were in line to receive a “pay bump” was welcomed by the NZNO.
NZNO chief executive Memo Musa said it would “likely be a morale booster for nurses”.
Comments on Facebook discussion page ‘New Zealand Hear our Voices’ did not reflect this, with many nurses venting their anger and frustration about the offer and working conditions.
The page has attracted 39,000 members since launching on March 4 and has become a safe forum for nurses to write about their experiences .
A new graduate registered nurse posted she was only six months into her first job and wondering what she had entered into.
Her experiences included violence, being reprimanded and embarrassed by doctors in front of colleagues and abuse from patients’ families.
“I’ve done extra shifts, and stayed past the end of mine because extra help was needed. I have worked shifts where we have been dangerously understaffed, where patients have been getting the bare minimum, and I’ve gone home wishing I could have done more,” she wrote.
A petition for safer staffing and working conditions for nurses has received more than 13,000 signatures.
The petition asks for pay that attracts and retains experienced staff, training to handle crisis situations, improved security measures, and investigation into a management and bullying culture. Stuff

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