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An update from your MECA negotiating team

Kia ora anō

Here’s an update on our latest round of bargaining we attended with the DHBs on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 February.

We gave the DHBs detailed information about our goals of a decent pay rise for all, and how nurses’ wages compare relative to other similar occupations. Our wage relativity claim includes extending the RN scale beyond 5 steps, as well as achieving relativities for other members. 

Not surprisingly, the DHBs informed us that our expectations and their ability to pay are far apart. In fact, the DHBs are unable to let us know anything about their financial situation until after the DHB chief executives meet in early March.

As you know, the bargaining environment is not made easy by Government’s constraints on funding and its obsession with reaching surplus.

The health budget has endured severe cuts over the last 6 years and it looks like 2015 will be no different. We expect 2015 to be a volatile year for negotiations in the public sector.

You can be assured that the concerns of NZNO members have been made very clear at the highest level of government. You have said that a pay offer of less than 1 percent will not cut it. And judging from recent feedback, NZNO members’ resolve has only been strengthened as a result of the very generous pay increases for DHB CEOs!  

We’re back at the bargaining table in March so we’ll be in touch again after that.

You can keep up to date with what’s happening on our Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/NZNursesOrganisation and if you’d like to send a message of support to the negotiating team please email lizr@nzno.org.nz.

Nāku noa
Lesley Harry
Industrial adviser for the DHB sector