Primary health care: CA for Access nurses?

October 1, 2020

Senior, Registered and enrolled nurses working for community health provider Access Healthcare were voting on whether to ratify an inaugural collective agreement (CA) as Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand went to press.

The proposed deal delivers pay parity with district health board nurses; establishes salary scales and translation onto, and progression through them; increases sick leave; and provides for professional development (PD) leave. If ratified, the term of the CA would be from January 2020 to January 2022.

Pay scales

Access team
The Access Healthcare bargaining team delegates, from left: Christchurch RN Julia Spencer, Kāpiti EN Linda Lonsdale and Hawke’s Bay clinical team leader Emma Holland.

The proposed CA creates a four-step EN pay scale, starting at $23.38 an hour; then $24.68/hr and $26.63/hr, with the step-4 rate of $27.43/hr.

The registered nurse (RN) pay scale has six steps, with the sixth being a merit step with a pay rate of $37.23/hr. The starting rate is $25.98/hr, then $28.12/hr, $29.87/hr, $31.56/hr, with $35.07 for step 5.

The pay rates in the three-step senior nurse pay scale are $79,760, $81,322 and $85,375. Senior nurses will be appointed to a step with no automatic progression.

If the proposed CA is ratified, a merit working party will be established by July next year to develop merit criteria for step 6 of the RN pay scale.

Full-time employees will be eligible for 16 hours of PD leave a year, pro-rated to no less than eight hours a year for part-time employees. After six months’ continuous employment, a full-time employee will be entitled to six working days paid sick leave for the subsequent year.

NZNO advocate Danielle Davies said the bargaining team was pleased with the offer. Ratification meetings held nationally finished on October 8.