Back pay for NZ nurses as promised

Back pay for NZ nurses as promised

20,719 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!

Why this petition matters

Started by michelle may

Nurses of New Zealand have been fighting for pay equity for many years, starting in 2018. “Pay equity acknowledges that female-dominated occupations may have experienced perceptions and prejudices that have led to sex-based undervaluation of the work. In brief, pay equity is about correcting sex-based undervaluation of female-dominated workforces”

The intention was to have the claim completed by December 2019 which was not achieved. 
In our past contract negotiations which NZ nurses signed in good faith, with the promise of pay equity back pay to December 2019 as the claim was not completed in time (meaning once the figure was decided we would receive a payment of the wage increase of actual hours worked back dated to 2019 until the pay rise came into effect)  

Our pay equity details have been released which gives us a pay rise effective from March but does not include a back pay. Instead we receive  a set lump sum which is far smaller than what would actually be owed to many. 
“The lump sum payments are recognition for past work and was negotiated to recognise that the claim applied from 31 December 2019.
A down payment on this recognition was paid to NZNO members as a result of MECA negotiations in late 2021. This included up to $6,000 as a lump sum and up to a further $1,000 as the 30 November settlement date was not met. The remaining payment of up to $3,000 brings the total recognition of past work to $10,000. These payments have not yet been paid to staff who are not NZNO or PSA members.
What we have learnt from previous experience involving back pay is that it is extremely complex to administer and in this case would have taken up to two years to administer. Further, back pay is heavily invested money going backwards, rather than the money to increase the rate or achieve other, complementary, improvements to terms and conditions going forward.”
We agreed to past contract negotiations in good faith with the promise of back payment on the pay rise to December 2019 meaning some nurses were expecting back payments upwards of $35,000.  To be told that we will only be receiving a total (pro-rated) of $10,000 is unacceptable. 
It appears that they feel it is too complex to pay what we are owed which is a huge injustice. 
Burn out among nurses is at an all time high and many are leaving in droves to greener pastures. Many are feeling undervalued on top of being underpaid for many years. 
New Zealand nurses have worked tirelessly throughout the global pandemic during a severe staff shortage. Many were relying on these payments and have planned their lives with the expectation that the DHBs and NZ government would stay true to their word. We were even told the treasury was holding the funds ready to release to the DHB once everything was signed. 

Nurses deserve what is owed to them and what was promised! 

We, the nurses of New Zealand, are asking our Minister of Health Andrew Little to step up and pay us what we are owed before we lose even more of our amazing talent to other countries.

20,719 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!