Crowds dressed in purple gathered outside Nelson Hospital to protest on Wednesday showing their support for the nurses strike.
Nurses walked off the wards at 10.45am after rejecting the latest offer from the DHBs. An offer in May would have given most around 1.38 per cent increase, just under the rate of inflation.
Upper Moutere clinical nurse specialist Bobbye Buckland says wards have been horribly busy and two of her nurses were in tears saying they ‘couldn’t do this.’ She says for her the key issue is this busyness nurses are facing.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says one key message is they are facing serious workforce issues with pay rates that do not attract and retain people and that the DHBs latest offer of a lump sum payment does nothing to lift rates of pay or to address the long-term issues. They say the Government’s wage restraint announcement in May on top of the poor first offer has made them furious.
Nurse and NZNO delegate Amanda Field says, “Nurses are exhausted, unheard and undervalued. This has been going on since 2004, we have been asking for safe staffing and it’s actually worse now rather than better. It’s scary to be a nurse at the moment, people are sicker than previously and there are times it is unsafe and not enough nurses are on shift.”
Some nurses worked through the strike to ensure patient safety.
“We are part of the team of five million. We stood up for you when you needed us, now we’re asking you to support us,” says the NZNO.

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