14 Dec 2022

Thousands of nurses to get more than 14 percent pay rise

6:56 pm on 14 December 2022
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Te Whatu Ora nurses will receive a pay rise next year. Photo: 123rf

About 30,000 Te Whatu Ora nurses will receive a big pay rise next year, putting them on par with their Australian counterparts.

Te Whatu Ora agreed to the equitable pay rates last year, but it was put on hold when unions began a legal challenge to the back pay part of the settlement.

An interim order was granted today by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to fix pay rates while the challenge is ongoing.

Te Whatu Ora chief executive Fepulea'i Margie Apa said it was a fantastic outcome, with most of the affected nurses due to get a pay rise of more than 14 percent.

"What really pleases me is that we're addressing a legitimate claim from a key part of the health workforce that has been undervalued for too long."

Apa was also grateful for the ERA's prompt decision.

"The unions' legal challenge is not affected by today's decisions, but that's too long to wait when we've already agreed to these pay equity rates [a year ago]."

Planning was already under way to implement the rise.

"We are working with the government on the next steps to make funds available," she said.

"Te Whatu Ora is co-ordinating more than 20 different payroll systems, which is a complex task, but we're pulling out all stops and putting extra people on so the new rates can be paid as soon as possible."

The new rates and a lump sum payment are expected to come into effect on 7 March, 2023.

Minister of Health Andrew Little welcomed the announcement.

Beginner public hospital nurses would soon start on $66,570, which was on a par with Australian entry wages, he said.

Experienced nurses would be on a basic rate of $95,340, he said.

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