7 August 2013:
Nurses all around the country are taking time out over the next couple of weeks to attend one of over 80 meetings to discuss what they can do about proposed employment law changes.
NZNO industrial adviser, Lesley Harry says, “The stop work meetings will be held at every DHB in the country. We have around 26000 members working in hospitals and they are very concerned about the changes the Government is proposing.”
“The Government wants to make collective bargaining much harder for employers and employees, and they also want to allow employers to opt out of multi-employer collective bargaining. Both those changes will impact the nursing profession greatly.”
“Currently all 20 district health boards (DHBs) negotiate a multi-employer collective agreement with unions. The agreement ensures workers throughout the country receive the same pay and conditions and DHBs receive the benefits and efficiencies of working together.”
“The DHB multi-employer collective agreement makes it possible for the nursing team to provide safe, quality and consistent care throughout the country. New Zealand’s health system relies on a nationwide approach to providing care. Allowing the fragmentation of employees’ terms and conditions will result in a fragmented and stressed health system,” Harry says.
“Nurses will be discussing what the changes will mean for them and their practice. They will also be letting their DHB employers know how much they appreciate working within the partnership of a multi-employer collective agreement.”