Nurses call off strike action

Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation have called off strike action planned for July, August and September after agreeing to take an improved pay offer to members.

Nurses had voted in favour of further strikes at the start of the month.

The strikes were due to take place on July 29 for 24 hours, August 19 for eight hours and another 24-hour strike on September 9.

An eight-hour strike was held on June 9.

Health Minister Andrew Little says the decision to take the Government’s improved pay offer to members and to lift strike notices is a positive move towards settling district health board nurses’ pay claims.

“It’s encouraging that the discussions between NZNO and DHBs over the nurses’ employment agreement have resulted in a new offer that will go out to nurses, and that the union has lifted strike notices for July 29 and 30,” he says.

“Now that DHBs no longer have to spend time preparing to deal with the major disruption a strike would cause we can focus instead on resolving the main issue, which is the nurses’ pay-equity claim,” says Little.

“Separate to pay negotiations, I have been driving officials hard to put together a comprehensive and principled offer on pay equity and we are a month away from tabling something that means we can address the long-standing historical unfairness that nurses have faced.

“Nurses have been under-paid for years, largely because it’s a female-dominated profession.

 “Settling the pay-equity claim means that for the first time, their work will be recognised and valued as much as comparable professions.”

Little thanks both sides of the bargaining team for their hard work to make progress, and urged them to continue to work together constructively.

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