The latest revised DHB MECA offer has been strongly rejected by NZNO members. However, Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne says that as nursing and midwifery is an essential service, mediation or facilitation will begin with urgency. NZNO remains committed to working with DHBs to find a resolution to this impasse and avoid strike action.
“Alongside the setting up of urgent mediation or facilitation, NZNO is surveying members to seek clarity about the specific issues that members require to be addressed to settle the DHB MECA,” Cee Payne said.
“The immediate staffing crisis as a result of the past decade of underfunding of DHBs has taken a heavy toll on nurses and their ability to provide safe patient care.
“Nurses and midwives do not trust that their work environment or patient care will improve in the short term. While the revised offer included new funding to address short staffing, concern remains that this may not be enough to make a real difference.
“Whilst the revised offer was substantially improved, compared to the previous one on pay for some members, members have rejected this. There may be concern about the variability of the offered pay increases.
“The revised DHB MECA offer on pay equity fails to specify how and when outcomes will be implemented. This has created uncertainty for members,” she said.
NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa says that strike action is a last resort but should it go ahead he explains that:
“Patient safety is paramount. We have had several meetings with DHB representatives to begin preparation to ensure patient safety.
“NZNO will work with DHBs to agree provision of life preserving services and we will be absolutely comply with the Code of Good Faith for the public health sector,” he said.