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Nurses accept DHB offer with firm majority

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 15 October 2021

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says its more than 32,000 members who work in district health boards (DHBS) have accepted their latest employer offer, with 83 percent voting yes. Voting closed at 12 Noon today.

Lead Advocate and Industrial Adviser David Wait said he is really pleased that the DHBs took the advice of the Employment Relations Authority after mediation last month and finally put forward an offer acceptable to NZNO DHB members.

“We have been in negotiations for 15 months, so it is great to receive something that both addresses pay issues and makes important progress towards safe staffing.

“Most of the pay increase comes in the form of down payments on our Pay Equity settlement, a separate process due for completion by the end of November, but the early lump sum payments are substantial.

“We also have a DHB contractual obligation to safe staffing, with a legally enforceable escalation pathway when members’ concerns aren’t addressed. Together with new employment commitments these are steps towards addressing the staffing crisis and making nursing an attractive profession again.”

Wait said he was extremely proud of the way members had engaged with this campaign for better wages and conditions – how they’d stuck it out and managed consistently to come to a consensus over many months.

“There is still a lot to do as we work with the DHBs to implement the changes, and members remain wary of their employers’ promises, so the DHBs have a real opportunity here to begin regaining the trust of their employees.

“How the DHBs respond regarding safe staffing over the next year will play a big role in our next collective agreement negotiations, so I encourage them to take this opportunity to do that.”

Today’s ratified MECA applies to the period 1 August 2020 to 31 October 2022. NZNO will next initiate bargaining late next year.


Media inquiries: Rob Zorn, NZNO Media and Communications Advisor: 027 431 2617.

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021 240 3420  |  04 494 6839

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