The Minister of Finance comment to media that nurses were in line for their pay to be addressed with a future “pay bump” will be great news to the nurse workforce.
Chief Executive Memo Musa says the Minister’s comment on the TVNZ Q and A programme is in line with the government’s commitment to put back the $2billion missing in the health spend.
“The finance minister signalling that increases in salaries for teachers and nurses is overdue is a welcome step towards addressing the ongoing issue of the undervaluation of the nursing profession,” Memo Musa said.
“NZNO members have campaigned for many years now for adequate health funding to ensure better care of New Zealanders in the health system, safe staffing levels and pay that better reflects the value they bring to the community.
“The health spend freeze had a negative impact on nursing workforce morale because of the pressure of staff shortages and the subsequent inability for nurses to take time for professional development. In addition, many nurses experience frustration about the resulting limitations to the care they can provide due to underfunding.
“We will be looking carefully at the government’s 2018 Budget for the road map towards redress of the decade of underinvestment in health and nurses’ salaries.
“We want to see more māori nurses attracted into nursing and every graduate in the nurse workforce entry programme to have a job placement. We want our more senior experienced nurses to stay in nursing and for employers to better accommodate their needs to keep them in the profession.
“This suggestion of a future ‘pay bump’ will likely be a morale booster for nurses as the government clearly intends to better reflect the value of nurses,” he said.