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Nurses and DHBs agree on pay conditions for the next two years

One of New Zealand’s largest collective employment agreements has been settled for the next two years.

The 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) have reached a settlement with the NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO) for the Nursing and Midwifery employment agreement.  The Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) covers around 30,000 nursing, midwifery and health care assistants working full and part time employed across the 20 DHBs and is one of New Zealand’s largest collective agreements.

Julie Patterson, spokesperson for the District Health Boards’ and Chief Executive of Whanganui District Health Board, said “nurses and midwives are highly valued by DHBs for their professionalism and commitment. We know they do an excellent job, often in constrained and trying circumstances”.

“Whether in hospitals or in the community the contribution nursing and midwifery is making to the health and independence of our communities is vital to the effectiveness of the health system.  .

“DHBs are continually challenged by the need to meet their community’s increasing need for health services within the finite resources.  Settling our employment agreement with our largest clinical workforce provides industrial stability and helps us meet this challenge” Mrs Patterson said today.

Some DHBs will face some budgetary difficulties as a result of the increased investment in nursing that results from the settlement. We are committed to working with our nursing staff to manage this difficulty in a way which will continue to improve the quality of services whilst ensuring nurses and midwives are practicing in a professionally safe work environment” says Ms Patterson.

Key Facts:

  • The settlement expires on 31 July 2017 and provides a 2% increase to base salaries from 6 July 2015 and a further 2% increase from 4 July 2016.
  • This lifts the basic starting rate for a new graduate Registered Nurse to around $49,500 by July next year and the top of the Registered Nurses scale (for a nurse with four or more years’ experience) to $66,755, before penal rates are applied
  • The settlement also increases the value of the allowance paid to Registered Nurses who are assessed as highly proficient to $4,500 p.a.
  • Prior to these increases, the average base-scale Registered Nurse employed by a DHB earned $74,950 on a full-time equivalent basis including overtime, penal rates and allowances. This is now expected to move to $77,978.
  • DHBs invest more than $1.7 billion per year in its nursing workforce.

Issued by Mick Prior Manager, Strategic Workforce Services, ERSG, 027 691 4999

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