22 Sep 2005

Cook Islands Nurses Association welcomes salary increases

3:50 pm on 22 September 2005

Health workers in the Cook Islands are set to have salary increases following a breakthrough by the Nurses Association.

The health minister, Peri Vaevae Pare, has approved a salary increase for the country's 78 nurses to be included in the supplementary budget to be tabled in the current sitting of parliament.

Mr Pare successfully negotiated with the Nurses Association last month after the latter threatened a nationwide strike.

He says the increase will be to the minimum band according to the Price Water House Coopers job evaluation system, a level nurses salaries are currently below.

The president of the Association, Elizabeth Iro, has welcomed the increase, which she says would see the minimum nurses wage rise from about 10,000 US dollars to 14,000 a year.

"It's not going to be just for nurses. It's going to be for all health workers. So it satisfies me to see that the nurses have been at the forefront of actually making a move like this that will benefit not just nurses but all Ministry of Health staff."

Mrs Iro says it's important for the association to ensure that nurses perform their duties to match their elevation to the right salary banding.