13 September 2007

Big pay rise for nurses and midwives applying for a New Zealand visa

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New Zealand nurses and midwives have won a pay rise of nearly 12 per cent over the next three years, in a deal reached with the district health boards (DHB) today. Hospitals are desperate to attract and retrain nurses and qualified British nurses interested in New Zealand immigration can expect a better pay deal and working conditions.

Canterbury DHB chairman Syd Bradley said yesterday the nurses' pay issue carried "massive implications" because of the need to retain nurses as well as keeping within the budget. He described nurses as "some of the most important assets we have".

The pay settlement is a little more than the average for health sector settlements, said DHB spokesman Jim Green, chief executive of the Gisborne DHB. "But the package of measures we've agreed addresses some of the real long-term workforce issues and workplace practices which will have an effect to improve patient outcomes," he told the New Zealand Herald.

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board organisational development general manager Denise Hutchins said: "The settlement is above the amount we budgeted for, but we think that reflects the value we place on our nursing staff."

The multi-employer collective agreement is reported to cost the DHBs an estimated NZ$120 million (£42 million). The package includes increased holiday and sick leave entitlements and was supported by 95 per cent of the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation members.

There are many opportunities for nurses in New Zealand. Anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.

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