26 September 2023

NEW ZEALAND: Nurses to receive ‘equity’ payment

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The New Zealand Government is providing an extra $NZ1.5 billion ($A1.4 billion) for an interim pay equity settlement for nurses employed by Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand).

Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall said the sum covered additional increases to pay rates and a lump sum payment to address back-pay issues.

More than 30,000 nurses employed by Te Whatu Ora will soon vote on the pay equity rate and the back-pay offer following agreement reached between the Department, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, and the Public Service Association.

Ms Verrall (pictured) said the agreement would ensure the predominantly female nursing workforce finally received the pay they deserved.

“If agreed, the payment will mean nurses receive two pay rises in nine months — the first being the interim 14 per cent pay equity adjustments paid in April this year,” Ms Verrall said.

“Since 2017, a new graduate nurse’s starting salary has gone up by 40.7 per cent and the salary for registered nurses at the top of their scale has risen by 49.2 per cent.”

She said the Government was also focused on what more it could do to ease the pressure on nurses.

“We have announced an additional 830 nurses to be trained as part of our ongoing efforts to stabilise the work force,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Women’s Affairs, Jan Tinetti said the number of wāhine (female) Māori members of Government boards had risen since 2019, and would continue to do so.

“Representation for women — including wāhine Māori — on public sector boards and committees is the highest it has ever been, with women now making up 53.1 per cent of all members,” Ms Tinetti said.

“Total Māori representation has increased steadily since 2019, when data on ethnicities first began.”

She said Māori board members now held 26.8 per cent of board roles, with wāhine making up 15.1 per cent of all public sector boards and committee members.

Wellington, 4 July 2023

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