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Nurses vote to accept proposed Pay Equity agreement

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 31 July 2023

In an historic ballot, which closed at noon today, nurses, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora covered by the Nursing Pay Equity claim voted overwhelmingly to accept a proposed settlement.

Those voting included members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO); the Public Service Association (PSA) and other part and present employees of Te Whatu Ora who do not belong to a union.

The proposed settlement arose from mediation between Te Whatu Ora, NZNO and the PSA who have been in litigation over the claim in the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) and Employment Court since early 2022. The three parties have agreed that this litigation will now cease.

NZNO Chief Executive Paul Goulter said the robust outcome is a significant milestone in the history of nursing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“This is a long overdue step towards addressing the significant gender-based inequality nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora face in their work every day. But it is also just a beginning, and we look forward to working with Te Whatu Ora to address other forms of gender-based discriminations nurses face.”

However, he said NZNO will not rest until these new rates addressing gender inequality were extended to every nurse, everywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The need for Pay Parity across all nursing sectors is well-established and not in dispute. That all nurses are paid the same according to their qualifications and experience is a matter of wage justice.

“It will mean nurses can work where they believe they can best contribute, rather than where they can earn enough to pay the bills. It will also help end the discriminatory wages and conditions faced by Māori and iwi, Pasifika, rural and other disadvantaged health service providers.”  


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