The online petition launched by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation in support of their District Health Board pay campaign has almost reached its goal of 10,000 signatures.

The “I heart Nurses” petition was launched just before Christmas and NZNO industrial advisor Chris Wilson said it was pleased with the take-up over the holiday period and expected to well-exceed its original target of 10,000 signatures. The total had reached more than 9,200 on January 17.

The petition followed the NZNO’s District Health Board members voting to reject the 20 DHB’s MECA (multi-employer collective agreement) offer with strong social media feedback that many felt the offer fell short of reflecting the skills and increasing workloads of nurses. The union and employer negotiating teams are now heading for mediation on January 31 with the union not ruling out a vote on industrial action if a deal can’t be reached that members are ready to accept.

The “I heart nurses” petition is part of the union’s campaign to garner public support in the lead-up to the mediation and argues thats that nurses want pay rates that provide for “a sustainable workforce and healthy workplaces”.

“DHBs need to pay nursing and midwifery teams delivering our healthcare services fairly for their skills,” says the petition’s preamble. “We need to retain and attract enough healthcare professionals to meet our country’s growing health needs and ensure we all have a high-quality, safe and modern healthcare system in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The petition is directed to the DHB chief executives and says nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants are the ‘heart of our public healthcare services” and calls on the CEOs to help keep “local health services safe and sustainable” by delivering nurses a better deal.

You can view the petition here.


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