NZNO's Blog

$180,000 pay rise? Yes please!


money_graph_pointing_upYou’ll remember before Christmas NZNO started talks with DHBs about negotiating a new collective agreement.

Our negotiating team is well prepared with evidence of how overworked, under staffed and stressed our hospitals wards are, and how inadequate planning with too few staff has the potential for poor outcomes for patients.

None of this is news. It’s the reality of nursing in a sick health system, and the solutions are clear, available and achievable.

We’ve got evidence that shows when a hospital has the right skill mix of staff in the right place at the right time, providing the right care with the right resources, everyone wins. Patients receive better outcomes and nurses have satisfaction in providing better and more timely care.

We all know that when you’re treated respectfully at work and remunerated fairly, when you can take leave to rest and rejuvenate, when you’re able to actually take a day off when you’re sick – everyone benefits. And when I say everyone, I mean staff, patients, the hospital, the budget, the health system.

What is news, though, is hearing that most DHB chief executives received pay rises of between $10,000 and $180,000 (in some cases, pay increases of up to 45%) in the last financial year!*

It feels pretty demoralising to know how much DHB chiefs are valued and how little value is placed on their staff. NZNO members working in DHBs are expecting a paltry pay offer of 0.6 – 0.7%.

Something is very wrong with this picture.

I expect if we asked each DHB why their chief executive received such a large pay rise, they would have an answer down pat. And I suspect, if we asked them how much they think their staff is worth, we’d receive a heartfelt statement of gratitude for the wonderful work we do and a sob story about how they wish they could pay us what we deserve but….

Belonging to NZNO is a good way to start making a difference. If we want a different ending to this story, we are going to need to write it ourselves.

Our team will be heading back into negotiations soon. There are 10 of them. There are 48,000 of us!

If we work together, take the hard decisions when required, stand strong beside each other, and let the whole country know what we need and WHY – we’ll get the outcome we, and every patient we care for, deserves.

*Pay scales for DHB chief executives are set by the State Services Commission.

9 thoughts on “$180,000 pay rise? Yes please!

  1. I dont think any of us are surprised CEOs recieve such large increases its a National Government and we don’t even know or are allowed to know all the allowances and payments our MPs get. Despite paying them! Crazy system which we could change if enoughof us vote for change.
    We will have a clear choice when the negotiation team come back and we do need to stand up and be counted and demand our Fari Share for the fantastic and highly skilled work we do. Otherwise we have no business complaining about what we are offered and accept. Its our choice as health workers roll over or roar.

  2. Every day whilst at work we are reminded to reduce the financial deficit on the DHB budgets. To enable this, restrictions are placed in recruiting more staff into areas such as the emergency department to cope with the increased demands and the 6 hr target, improve patient flow and to offer a pitiful pay rise that does not assist those nurses who work the shifts that are not family friendly, to pay for childcare to support their employers initiatives, this depicts that what is “good for the goose is NOT good for the gander”. It seems insulting to nurses and HCA’s in particular as they are caring for the patients at the bedside, doing so many things that make a difference to people’s lives. The pay rise that was offered does not reflect inflation, the increase of workload and scope of RN and Senior Nurse practice over since the last negotiations.

    Yes they most certainly need to make some tough calls and have demands from the MOH and creating change to support and shape the future of our health system and deserve to be recognised however such a significant pay rise does support the DHB and Government initiatives or assisting with this massive financial burden.

    Our Australian counterparts earn significantly more than us and it is known that the way NZ is trending, we will see a nursing shortage of 15,000 by 2035. There are limited places for the struggling new graduate nurses and we need to develop them now, to support our future. It’s no wonder a large proportion leave NZ to persue a better lifestyle to reduce their financial suffering and gain employment in what they have been trained to do.

    All the best NZNO for the negotiations :).

  3. Yet again we see the fat cats at the top creaming it. If the DHBs are performing so poorly then why is there the exorbitant pay rises and more so when the budgets are being hacked. It’s not the CEOs or managers that make the difference ; it’s the healthcare workers on the frontline who keep getting told to tighten our belts, lean thinking or the $5 a day campaign that was a joke. It’s time we went in and said take your 0.7% and place a 10 in front of it. Time we as a union and members drew a line in the sand and told them enough is enough. They want staffed hospitals then start paying decent wages. If we have to strike then so be it. A friend who works in the upper echelon told me the rolling 2 hr strikes are the most effective form as it causes the most disruption to the DHB. Monday for 2 hrs 9-11, Tuesday 2hrs 11-1, Wednesday 10-12 and so on. They also said on the days of planned action to call in sick as well. It is recognised that the nurses have the greatest power and strength to bring management to its sense – and we can be a force to be reckoned with.

  4. We’ve tried playing nice and where has it gotten us? Weve considered the impact strike action will have on our patients and our workplace and for that reason have always seemed to back down on such action, but now its time to think about us and our families. Iagree with Nathan, if there was ever a time for industrial action – it’s now! If we don’t take action and get serious demonstrating our worth to management and the government we’ll always remain behind the eight ball in an effort to maintain an adequate and relevant wage. We are losing good nurses to Australia in droves, the gap in comparative pay rates is ever widening and at this rate there is less and less incentive for our new Zealand nurses to come back. The latest pay rise toCEO’s just proves that there IS money in the budget to pay us what we are worth – they’ve painted themselves into a corner on that one. Our HCA’s are working for the minimum living wage which if things don’t change will quickly fall way below this – nursing wages could go the same way. It’s time to play rough (nothing else has worked). We deserve a significant pay increase, we deserve better working conditions – our hospitals are falling apart. Do you we really want to follow the rest of the world and continue to follow polices that have been proven not to work or do we want a health service that the rest of the world strives to model itself on? If we stand our ground, make ourselves visible and stand as one we can do this. I’m not going to settle for 0.7% this time – I’ll find another job with less stress, more respect and better conditions.

  5. Pingback: Give us a hand | NZNO's Blog

  6. Simple, more militancy. Key promised better wages. No change. Over the last four years the new Zealand stock market has creamed it. Nurses need to stand up and demand a piece of the pie. The state services commission is the stated reason the CEO’s have enjoyed Rediculous salary increases. Makes no difference. We need to demand the same unless you would rather the money being forwarded to a casino!

  7. I sincerely hope you don’t settle for a paltry offer!! I work in Australia now where you are properly renumerated for the work you do. I miss NZ and would love to come home but there is NO WAY I will work there under the current employment circumstances – fortnights of rostered shifts that cripple you because of the poor mix of ams, pms, nights – annual leave that can’t be granted, poor skill mix that is bottom heavy thereby flogging the more experienced nurses so they eventually leave because of burn out!

    Nurses love their jobs and care for their patients at times to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing – who cares for the carers – no one that’s who!!
    We all want what is best for the budget etc…but safety first please!

    NZNO needs to take some lead from their Australian Union counterparts who can rally nurses to unite for change.

    Apparently the NZ economy is flying above the Australian one, the exchange rate is $ for $ but still NZ nurses put up with being paid poorly – the rate of an EN in NSW!!

    Don.t accept it!!

  8. It’s time to stand up and say “we’ve had enough”
    A pay jolt is needed.
    We don’t get a dirt allowance for dealing with all the dirty jobs we do.
    We don’t get an abuse allowance for dealing with,usually, abusive visitors
    We don’t get an allowance when sworn at by some patients and some visitors
    We don’t get an emotional allowance for dealing with dying patients and helping distressed family
    We don’t get free parking, and the parking price has been increased but not our wages. Can we really be charged for using a public place for parking? Is this not Crown Land and owned by all of us?
    We often don’t get meal breaks due to being short staffed with a heavy load.
    We often work well over our our knock off time, to complete the endless paper work, without being paid overtime.
    Should I carry on????
    It is time our pay reflected our worth.
    CEO’s are well paid
    Managers are better paid than us
    Members of Parliament get big pay rises each year.
    Now it’s time for us, health care workers on the floor, to get a good pay increase.
    There is nothing fair about our pay at present, a pay jolt is needed.
    Also, when or increase is made public, the public should be well aware of how our increase works. Last time it was – Nurses have a 5% pay increase. If our increase is made public it should be stated what percentage we are given annually.

  9. I suggest that you all read the animal farm and how the animals at the top treated the animals at the bottom and a comment made by the big wig animal that I would rather not post here those of you that have read it will know what I mean.

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