Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Health Minister welcomes nurse pay equity progress

The Government has welcomed the Employment Relations Authority interim order on nurses’ pay equity following Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand’s application.

Health Minister, Andrew Little said the announcement means that pay rates agreed to a year ago can now be paid.

“This Government is committed to improving nurses’ pay. We have already increased registered nurses’ wages by about 20%,” said Minister Little.

“We are also committed to pay equity for nurses. That is why we amended the Equal Pay Act so this could be achieved.

“A year ago agreement in-principle was reached with the nurses’ unions on a pay equity deal which would mean around another 14% pay boost. The government set aside the money to fund it.

“That deal then became the subject of litigation, which is ongoing, and which prevented the government from paying nurses more.”

He said the Employment Relations Authority had now given Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand the ability to do so.

“The pay equity process is complex and technical, and that is why it often takes time to get to the point of agreement. It is clear that the ongoing litigation will take a long time to resolve. I continue to urge the parties involved to seek to resolve issues by agreement as they arise.”

“I will now take the next steps to make the funds available when Te Whatu Ora payroll systems are ready to go. This means nurses will get a significant pay rise in their pockets in the new year,” he said.

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