Campaign to fix nursing pay disparities?

September 1, 2021

NZNO’s membership committee wants NZNO to focus on the difference in pay for nurses working for district health boards (DHBs) compared to those at iwi health providers, aged care facilities and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

At its July meeting, the committee agreed to ask the NZNO board and te poari for an update on work to address these pay disparities and suggest it be NZNO’s next major campaign.

The committee also agreed to lobby the Ministry of Health to include non-regulated health staff on working within the End of Life Choice Act, due to take effect on November 7, alongside medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and enrolled nurses.

The need for a more user-friendly professional development recognition programme involving unions and employee groups was discussed. Nurses should not have to spend hours of their own time preparing portfolios.

NZNO professional nursing advisor Suzanne Rolls gave an update on NZNO’s addressing violence and aggression in nursing (AVAN) project. Two education modules were being developed for members on how to effectively use the Health and Safety at Work Act, their “duty of care” and the right to be safe at work. A 10-point plan was also being adapted and NZNO’s membership support centre briefed on how to support members reporting violence and aggression. More information would soon be available on NZNO’s website.

Rolls said WorkSafe was not automatically advised when staff were injured through aggression, unless they were admitted to hospital. Injured staff should complete a WorkSafe notification and be sure to alert a (staff-elected) health and safety representative.

The committee has also finalised a process for delegates acting as support people for members facing disciplinary action, which will be available after board approval.

The committee has vacancies in a number of regions. Members must be elected or appointed by their local regional council. Please see the NZNO website for more information.

The membership committee is intended to bring a member perspective to the board. Its next meeting is October 13-14.