DHBs offer 'significant' pay boost to nurses

New Zealand's District Health Boards (DHBs) have made a new pay offer to nurses in the hopes of avoiding strike action. 

Under the offer, nurses' base salary will rise by 9 to 16 percent over the next 18 months - a raise that would see a nurse with five years' experience earn almost $200 extra a week by the end of 2019.

The New Zealand Nurses Union (NZNO) said the DHBs had "unexpectedly publicised" the pay offer and it is reviewing the details. 

NZNO will not publicly comment until later this week when the union's analysis of the offer has been sent to all of its members.

DHB spokesperson Helen Mason said the offer is "a significant increase going beyond the recommendations of the Independent Panel proposed by the Prime Minister". 

The pay rise would be phased in in three stages over the next 15 months, and there would also be a $2000 lump sum payment.

NZNO's negotiation team and DHB National Delegate Committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the pay offer. A full analysis will be sent out to its members on Thursday and then the union will likely speak to media about its response to the offer. 

The union has already voted to take strike action for two days in July if its members do not accept this latest offer from the DHBs.

The union had previously rejected an offer of a 2 percent pay rise from DHBs.