Nurses accept offer from DHBs

By Regan Paranihi

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) has accepted a settlement that will deliver the biggest pay increase they have received in a decade as well as an extra 500 nurses in hospitals.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark say they are pleased with the nurses decision to accept the offer.

“Our nurses are dedicated, caring professionals and deserve decent and safe working conditions.  This settlement rightly delivers the biggest pay increase nurses have seen in a decade and will put 500 more nurses in our hospitals," says Ardern.

"This settlement will go a long way to addressing nurses' concerns, but the government accepts there is still more to be done to better support them.  While today represents a conclusion of bargaining it also marks the start of a long-term programme to rebuild our public health system and the status of the nursing profession.”

Ardern says the government values the work nurses do and is committed to building a better health system.

Clark has commended the parties involved for coming to an agreement.

“As Health Minister the one thing I hear over and over again from the public is just how good our nurses are.  They are at the heart of so much that our public health service does and deserve a settlement that recognises the particular challenges they face, including their limited pay scale and safe staffing issues.”

"I commend the NZNO and DHBs for finding common ground after such lengthy, and at times, testing negotiations."