Newshub understands nurses will vote to strike

Newshub understands nurses and midwives will overwhelmingly decide to strike over the weekend, despite District Health Boards (DHBs) being told to increase their pay offer.

An independent panel was brought in to end the stalemate between nurses and their employers, but it doesn't seem like it will go far enough.

Nurses have been doing it tough - frustrated by staffing shortages and low pay, morale is in the pits.

They've fought, they've protested, and sources have told Newshub they've now voted overwhelmingly to strike, probably on July 5 and 12.

A breakdown in negotiations between nurses and DHBs forced the Government to send in mediation.

An independent panel has now recommended a $2000 lump sum to be paid to all nurses, followed by a 3 percent pay rise on June 1. This would rise another 3 percent two months later, and again in August 2019.

Cee Payne from the NZ Nurses Organisation says it's "unlikely" nurses will be happy with the settlement as it stands.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she "absolutely hopes" there can be resolution - though the pay rises won't be cheap for the Government.

For example, a nurse with five years' experience earns $66,755. That would go up to $72,944 by August next year.

Add in the lump sum for all 27,000 nurses in negotiations, and our estimates have it costing over $200 million.

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson says the Government will look into the fiscal consequences of the panel's recommendations.

The panel also wants to see more pay scales for nurses, a greater number of nurses and more money for DHBs to expand their workforces - another $38 million.

DHBs decide on Monday whether to adopt the recommendations, then the offer goes back to nurses.

One nurse told Newshub she was in tears after seeing the recommendations because they don't go far enough.

She's now planning to arrange her Australian registration, and is considering a new career - but not before another 12-hour shift on Friday feeling overworked and underpaid


Sign up to receive news updates

By entering your email address, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Newshub and its affiliates may use your email address to provide updates/news, ads, and offers. To withdraw your consent or learn more about your rights, see the Privacy Policy.