Government coalition partner the Green Party has today said nurses deserve to be paid more but acknowledges it will be “challenging to recover nine years of neglect in a single year”.
Marama Davidson, the Green’s co-leader, was responding to the news that NZNO’s district health board members had voted to reject the latest deal and will walk off the job on July 5 if a last-minute deal cannot be reached.
She said nurses were totally professional, so for them to reject the offer showed how “undervalued they feel after nine years squeezing by National”. “We support their call for urgent mediation,” she said.
“Nurses need a significant pay catch up, but this Government is going to find it challenging to recover nine years of neglect in a single year.”
“The nursing profession has been dominated by women and, like many women-dominated professions, such as teachers, has been undervalued and underpaid in comparison with male-dominated professions. The DHBs have said the latest dispute is not about pay equity, but we look forward to that being addressed as soon as practicable,” said Davidson.