Christchurch nurses plan to protest as pay will not last for up to three months

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A Christchurch theater nurse, who is her family’s main breadwinner, said she would join other nurses in protesting Canterbury’s health board failure to stick to a wage deal before Christmas.

A hotly contested settlement ratified in mid-October promised immediate pay increases to more than 50,000 nurses and members of the New Zealand Nurses Organization (NZNO), as well as an advance on a pay equity demand.

The nurse Thing spoke, who did not want to be named, said she expected a salary increase of about $ 8,000, which would bring her salary to $ 73,000, plus a pre-tax lump sum payment of $ 6,000 in recognition of the delay in settling the pay equity claim and return Pay.

“I have creditors that I have to pay … I have two children who would love Christmas presents, but I cannot even guarantee that Christmas will be this year.”

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After several demands from the union, all boards of health provided deadlines for payments this week except Canterbury, the West Coast and Waikato.

The other boards of health will provide the payments and adjustments by Christmas.

Health Minister Andrew Little said Canterbury’s delays were unacceptable.

Dr Peter Bramley, chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Council, apologized for the slow response to the nurses' salary deal, but nurses say it is not enough.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Tips

Dr Peter Bramley, chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Council, has apologized for the slow response to the nurses’ salary deal, but nurses say it is not enough.

“The funding has been available for a few weeks and all of the other district health boards have started making the payments.

“Canterbury is the only one who says it’s hard to do it. This is unacceptable, and I have asked the Department of Health officials to work with DHB to ensure that payments owed to nurses are made before Christmas.

Monday, after inquiry with the Canterbury Board of Health by ThingChristchurch NZNO organizer Ron Angel received a letter from CEO Dr Peter Bramley stating that members would receive a lump sum payment before Christmas.

Christchurch nurses will demonstrate outside Canterbury District Health Council offices on Tuesday after their pay increases were delayed.

PHOTO FILE

Christchurch nurses will demonstrate outside Canterbury District Health Council offices on Tuesday after their pay increases were delayed.

However, Bramley said changes to pay grades, rates and salary arrears would only be resolved between mid-February and the end of February – up to three months – “due to the size of our hand. – of nursing work and the complexities involved ”.

Bramley apologized for the delay and the lack of communication.

” Since [agreement] our payroll and HR (human resources) teams have worked hard to sort out all the complexities to allow payment as quickly as possible.

He said the deal was signed by boards of health and returned to CEOs on November 15.

During negotiations, boards of health pledged to immediately lift base salaries, salary arrears and a lump sum payment of $ 6,000 to recognize the long wait for a pay equity claim to be resolved.

Cheryl Hanham, a member of the NZNO’s delegates committee, said the group decided to continue their protest, despite Bramley’s response.

Cheryl Hanham, a 33-year-old NZNO delegate and registered nurse, said it was not acceptable for nurses in Canterbury not to be paid until mid-February.

PROVIDED

Cheryl Hanham, a 33-year-old NZNO delegate and registered nurse, said it was not acceptable for nurses in Canterbury not to be paid until mid-February.

“They had the same weather as Auckland, Capital Coast, Waitemata, and they couldn’t even do us the courtesy of responding to the main organizer of NZNO about it. [agreement]. “

Representatives of the board of health said payments would take two to three pay cycles from ratification. There have been four pay cycles since the agreement.

The technical advisory services, which supported the boards of health in the negotiations, advised them to start preparing for payments on October 28.

On November 10, the CEOs of the board agreed to make the lump sum payments before receiving funds from the Crown.

Little then wrote to the CEOs on November 11, saying the Crown would make appropriate funds available for the payments.

On November 24, when many nurses had heard nothing, the union wrote to general managers to express their anger and frustration at the delays, asking those who had not responded to requests for information to do so. within 48 hours.


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