Following yesterday’s nationwide rally demanding fairer pay and an end to chronic understaffing, Leader of The Opportunities Party Raf Manji calls for essential nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants to be shown the respect they deserve.
The Opportunities Party recognises the critical role that nurses play in our healthcare system and the sacrifices they are making to keep our communities safe, with the Covid-19 pandemic further highlighting the invaluable role of our nurses. However, the Government continues to fall short of providing a fair pay rise in line with costs of living, resulting in a mass exodus of nurses to other countries where they are treated more fairly.
Since August last year, 5,000 New Zealand nurses have registered to practise in Australia, approximately 8% of the 65,000 nurses registered in New Zealand.
Raf Manji says enough is enough. “We have a nursing workforce crisis and the Government needs to acknowledge that.”
The Opportunities Party is committed to working with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation to address the issue of fair pay and better working conditions. And today, The Opportunities Party is calling on the Government to raise nurses’ pay in line with Australia, to close the pay gap and pay nurses what they are worth.
It is estimated that the starting rate for an enrolled nurse in Australia is approximately $9,000 higher than in New Zealand, and almost $17,000 higher for registered nurses (Australian figures converted to $NZD).
“Nobody understands the true problems on the ground better than the nurses working tirelessly to ensure our hospitals continue to function. But, the Government needs to acknowledge this and pay nurses fairly.”
The Opportunities Party is committed to working with the New Zealand Nurses Union to find sustainable solutions that serve the needs of all New Zealanders.