The Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff said today that he was standing beside members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) who had returned a ‘no’ vote on their latest collective agreement offer. Mr Wagstaff said that it was in everyone’s interests, including the District Health Boards (DHBs) that these negotiations concluded with a fair outcome as swiftly as possible, and he would do whatever he could to help facilitate that.
“We all know that our health services and the people that run them have been stretched to breaking point after nine long years of chronic under-funding,” he said. “The return of this vote shows the level of unmet need that’s out there for the nurses, midwives and care assistants who have been covering the gap.”
“They’re understandably very frustrated, but we have an opportunity now for NZNO, the DHB employers and the Government to work together to find a more sustainable balance in the way we value our nursing services and staff.”
“Nine years of running on a care budget of goodwill from health staff has taken its toll. I personally think working people highly value the skilled work that the nursing team does, and if asked would want to know our nurses are being taken care of.”
“The pressure is on now to urgently address the barriers to a settlement of the NZNO DHB collective employment agreement which demonstrates the value and respect nurses deserve.”
The NZNO campaign site is now live here: www.healthneedsnursing.nz