Nurses hopeful Government's upcoming primary healthcare pay parity announcement will help sector issues

A long-awaited announcement on primary healthcare nurses' pay parity is expected by the Government on Monday.

It comes as the Nurses Union boss describes the current situation as a "battlefield" where patients' and nurses' safety is at risk.

Primary healthcare nurses have been fighting for pay parity for years. In some cases, the pay gap between them and hospital nurses is tens of thousands of dollars.

"It's very frustrating because we know there is no good reason for it," said Nurses Organisation president Anne Daniels.

She's worried that without pay parity more nurses, such as those in aged care, will keep leaving for hospital jobs.

"They're not doing very well, the fact is a lot of them are on the breadline," she added.

There are about 5000 vacancies in nursing and the shortage is so bad the union's chief executive has written to its 56,000 members calling the sector a "battlefield" where there's a "lack of respect, or outright disrespect" for a workforce who are being "assaulted, and instead of receiving support and justice, are victim-blamed" while working in conditions that are a "health and safety threat to themselves and the entire country".

"They feel the extra commitment, that extra mile they've gone has been disrespected and they're now being taken advantage of," said Nurses Union CEO Paul Goulter.

A feeling nurses in the UK share - vacancies are at a record high and they're striking for a nearly 20 percent pay rise.

"That's obviously unaffordable, that's why I'm pleased the health secretary is sitting down talking to the union and hopefully we can find a way through this," United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

Nurses here hoping to find a way through pay parity problems which could cost the Government hundreds of millions of dollars.

"We are very hopeful that the minister will follow through on what he's long said, that closing this gap is a priority, so we look forward to that announcement," Goulter said.

"It would give us hope and it would also mean that the government health employers are putting their money where their mouths are," Daniels added.

And they're warning if that doesn't happen then they'll be striking again and again until pay parity is finally achieved.

Health Minister Andrew Little has been working through the detail of the announcement on Sunday.

The Minister has publicly told nurses several times in the past that he supports pay parity between primary health care and hospital nurses.

The Nurses Union is feeling optimistic about what's in store, however they're also wary about what pay parity will look like - and told Newshub it's important the money gets into nurses' pockets, not managers.