Membership surge after strike news

May 19, 2021

A surge of nurses joined NZNO the day it announced plans to strike next month, and is continuing, after an “overwhelming” vote by members over district health board pay negotiations.

NZNO membership supervisor Haromi Lardelli said 86 nurses and health workers joined the union on Friday May 14, the day it announced its strike plans. That figure included 25 DHB workers who were joining for the first time and another 40 previous members wanting to return, most of whom were from DHBs, she said.

NZNO organiser Drew Mayhem said the new and returning members who contacted NZNO prior to the strike notice being issued on May 17 would be able to participate in the planned June 9 strike.

Any new or returning members who joined on or after May 17 would be eligible to participate in future ballots for strike action, and future strikes, should they take place, he said.

NZNO members working in DHBs voted to strike after rejecting the latest DHB offer, after the Government announced a three-year public wage restraint for workers earning over $60,000.

The eight-hour strike is planned for June 9 from 11am to 7pm. However, a lengthy strike notice period allowed time for the strike to be called off should a revised offer be made and accepted by members, NZNO lead advocate David Wait has said.

Workers in the managed isolation and quarantine facilities would be exempt.

Lardelli said the surge in membership was continuing.

In less than three weeks from April 31 to May 19, NZNO membership grew from 51,132 to 51, 729 – an increase of 597.