Media Releases

Government disregards nurses’ views on employment law changes

11 December 2013

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is deeply disappointed with the report released today by the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee about the Employment Relations Amendment Bill. Government members of the committee have recommended that the Bill proceed without any real consideration or incorporation of NZNO members’ views.

Nurse at Wellington Hospital and NZNO delegate, Grant Brookes says, “Thousands of NZNO members have raised concerns about the proposed changes to their rights at work. We have written submissions, made oral presentations and had meetings with MPs. The seriousness of our concerns was such that we stopped work to attend meetings and discuss what the changes will mean to the nursing workforce.”

“It is arrogant of the Government members of the Select Committee to ignore our concerns out of hand. We know exactly how the changes will impact on our ability to do a great job for patients and deliver excellent care, and we don’t want to be in a position to be saying ‘I told you so’ when our predictions come true. Patients will be the ones paying the price if the Bill is passed.”

“This report highlights the lack of value this government places on the voices of the nursing workforce and how out of touch they are from workers in New Zealand. The nursing team won’t swallow this bad medicine,” Brookes says.

“What New Zealand needs is a strong, productive economy based on good and fair employment law, and decent wages and working conditions.”

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