No pay rise for nurses in primary care and Māori health providers

By Wena Harawira

GP nurses have missed out on a pay parity package.

More than 8000 nurses in aged care, hospices and other community providers will get pay rises of up to 15 percent tomorrow.

Nurses working for Plunket, Family Planning, school nursing services, mental health and addiction, rural hospitals and in telehealth will receive their pay rise on July 1.

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall says the $200 million boost will push the base salary for most nurses to about 95 percent of their hospital-based colleagues' pay, closing the gap between nurses (who are predominantly women) and comparable male-dominated professions.

But GP nurses have been excluded from the agreement.

Nurses Organisation kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said the news was a kick in the guts for primary care nurses, who receive between 10 to 15 per cent less than hospital nurses.

She added those with Māori and Pasifika health services were even more worse off, receiving up to 30 percent less.

“For many, this is the last straw, and they're looking to go overseas. If we want to invest in the workforce,e then we have to sincerely listen to what they're wanting. And it's not just about the pay parity, it's about safe working conditions and having the resources so that when we go to work, we can do it really well."

- Additional reporting by Radio New Zealand