Heather du Plessis-Allan: Govt should listen to their own advice and pay nurses properly

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 5:04PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Govt should listen to their own advice and pay nurses properly

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 5:04PM

Is anybody out there going to buy the Government excuses for not paying nurses more? 

The Prime Minister says they are financially constrained.

No, you’re not.  You just announced you’re going to spend close to a billion dollars on a cycle path for 5000 wealthy middle class Aucklanders who live in nice North Shore suburbs. 

No one’s going to buy that argument. 

Tomorrow when those nurses walk off the job at 11am, I’d wager most of the country is going to support them, Because we know our nurses are not paid nearly enough.

They might have had a recent significant pay increase, but they are still paid much less than their Australian counterparts.

And that matters, because we are now hearing more and more stories of Australian recruiters targeting our nurse workforce and our nurses deciding enough is enough and going to Australia.

A registered nurse on the top pay bracket starts at $77,000 in New Zealand. Compare that to $96,500 per year in NSW.  

Senior nurses here can earn up to about $130k, but its $192K in NSW.

Nurses striking tomorrow are not being greedy.  They’re just trying to find reasons not leave. 

So seeing as we don’t buy the government argument, how about this argument: we can’t migrant workers in, so if you want to attract and retain staff, you need to lift pay rates.  

That’s is the message minister after minister after minister has given to private employers begging to bring skilled migrant workers in.  

So how about this government takes its own medicine: if they want to attract and retain nurses, lift their pay.