Maori and Iwi Health Care Workers Want Pay Parity

Published: Fri 21 Dec 2007 11:32 AM
Maori and Iwi Health Care Workers Call for Pay Parity
Maori and Iwi Primary Health Care workers launched a petition today calling on Parliament to provide the funding required to achieve pay parity with their counterparts working in public hospitals.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has commenced bargaining with 60 Maori and Iwi Primary Health Care providers for a multi-employer collective employment agreement titled Te Rau Kokiri. NZNO and the employers present in bargaining have agreed to the principle of pay parity with health professionals employed by District Health Boards.
However, funding levels to Maori and Iwi Primary Health Care providers appear to be a barrier to implementing pay parity.
Primary health care nurses and health workers are often the first health professionals people see. Those employed by Maori and Iwi providers play an essential role, making a real difference in the broader Maori community.
The goal of these Primary Health Care services is to improve Maori health outcomes by providing education, choices, improving accessibility and being culturally appropriate.
NZNO lead advocate Joanne Wrigley says that the inability to keep up with DHB pay rates is severely effecting recruitment and retention. “The Ministry of Health Primary Health Care Strategy places emphasis on developing broader primary health care competencies and skills and providing for the diverse needs of the population being served,” says Joanne Wrigley. “It is absolutely vital that the Maori and Iwi primary health care sector is able to retain its health care professionals and increase their numbers if the goals of the strategy are to be achieved.”
According to a survey undertaken by NZNO in June this year, Registered Nurses working for Maori and Iwi Primary Health providers earn on average $22.73/hr compared to a base rate of $26.66/hr for most Public Hospital nurses.
Joanne Wrigley calls on all New Zealanders to support and sign the petition. “Ma tini, ma mano, ka rapa te whai. By many thousands, the object will be attained.”

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