NZNO Identifies Health Priorities for National

Published: Tue 11 Nov 2008 04:27 PM
Media Release Below:
NZNO Identifies Health Priorities for National
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) expects a National-led government to deliver on its promises to support the delivery of quality health care in New Zealand.
National has made some very specific promises around a number of issues, including additional public funding for Plunketline and an increase in hospice funding.
“As the biggest health sector union in New Zealand we want to meet with the new Minister of Health as soon as possible. We also want to hear more about the detail of National’s health policies and implementation timeframes.” Geoff Annals, NZNO Chief Executive, said today.
“We have very clear aspirations around the need for safe staffing in the health sector and the solutions required to achieve this. Geoff Annals said NZNO expects health funding to increase front line staff to ensure safe staffing can be achieved. The establishment of further working parties is not necessary. We know what the solutions are and want the new government to get on and implement those solutions.”
“NZNO believes that rights of workers need to be maintained and improved including the right to negotiate multi employer agreements. Our members have significantly benefited through multi employer collective bargaining, particularly in DHBs where public sector nurses achieved an historic fair pay settlement which recognised the value of nursing work.”
National has signalled that they will seek to introduce a 90 day probationary period at the commencement of employment. This proposed legislation allows for workers to be fired with no access to challenge the grounds for their dismissal. This legislation will particularly impact on more mobile workers, like those working in residential aged care where staff turnover is as high as 40% annually.
“Residential aged care needs urgent attention. The sector is in crisis, with appalling rates of pay, inadequate staffing and insufficient training for caregivers. The Government should regulate the sector to ensure quality patient care and safe workloads for workers” he said.
“Funding for Maori and Iwi primary health care providers requires urgent additional funding to ensure that the gap between these workers and other primary health care workers is removed.”
Geoff Annals went on to say, “NZNO looks forward to working constructively with with the incoming Government to serve the interests of all New Zealanders.”

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