Saturday, July 20, 2024

Community nurses pay rise kicks in

More than 8,000 community nurses will receive pay rises of up to 15% over the next month as a Government initiative worth $200 million a year kicks in, Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall said today.

“The Government is committed to ensuring nurses are paid fairly and will receive parity with others doing the same or similar work, especially given the current cost of living pressure faced by workers and their families. This is a substantial step towards that,“ Dr Verrall said.

Improving pay for New Zealand’s hardworking community nurses demonstrated the Government’s commitment to reducing the gap with nurses who work in hospitals, the Minister said.

“I’m very pleased nurses in aged residential care, hospices, home and community support services, along with those in Māori and Pacific healthcare, will soon be receiving more money in their pockets. This will help retain nurses in important community roles.”

“This is good news for health services which have been impacted by a flow of nurses to jobs in hospitals. It also means the Government is directly supporting nurses caring for people and whānau in very real need.

“While the amount each nurse receives will vary, for some it’s as much as a 15% increase in base pay. Most will now receive base wages at about 95% of hospital-based colleagues,” Dr Verrall said.

The boost to community nurse pay follows the historic pay increase for hospital nurses, which made wages competitive with Australian nurse wages.

“Te Whatu Ora is also working with other parts of the health sector facing pay gaps. From July 1, additional funding will ensure pay rises for eligible nurses working for Plunket, Family Planning, school nursing services, mental health and addiction, rural hospitals and in telehealth,” Minister Verrall said.

“The Government is committed to addressing long standing disparities between health workers employed in our government-funded sector, and those who are Te Whatu Ora employees.

“This reinforces our commitment to reduce the cost of living and its impact on households.

These pay uplifts will ensure  workers are paid fairly for their critical roles in protecting the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” she said.

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