The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is pleased to see that industrial action by nurses in
recent weeks has led to a settlement which will deliver a long overdue pay rise and an improvement in working
Nurses, like social workers, provide an indispensable contribution to society, offering vital services and standing with
people during times of crisis; often literally saving lives. For years they put up with stagnating wages and increasing
demands, even as the cost of living rose, until they finally decided to engage in this year’s strike action- their first
national strike in almost 30 years.
ANZASW believes that their actions were more than justified and were in the public interest. It is inevitable that,
despite nurses doing their best, the impact of heavy workloads, unfair pay and insufficient staffing levels were being
felt by patients.
This week’s resolution, between the New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) and district health boards, includes pay
rises, a commitment to a scheme that will improve staffing capacity and a promise of pay equity within a year. This
follows the signing of an accord in parliament last month which is set to ensure safe staffing levels in hospitals.
These developments are welcome and will go some way to reducing the unsustainable levels of pressure that nurses were
We look forward to seeing the agreement implemented as soon as possible. Once again we offer our solidarity to nurses
and all our public sector colleagues, who have long been under-valued and under-compensated for their irreplaceable
service to the community.