Panel recommends nurses get immediate three per cent pay rise and one-off $2,000 sum

An independent panel assisting with pay negotiations between the nurses' union and district health boards has recommended an immediate three per cent pay rise and a one-off $2,000 payment to employees.

Union spokesperson Cee Payne says something needs to be done about nurses pay immediately to attract and retain them. Source: 1 NEWS

Nurses rejected a two per cent rise in March, claiming they're undervalued, underpaid and overworked.

The panel has also suggested a further three per cent payrise in August, and again in August next year to cover the cost of living.

The union says the recommendations don't go far enough in addressing pay concerns.

"Nurses want to see parity with secondary school teachers, and this offer doesn't enable that until quite late in the piece," says union spokesperson Cee Payne.

The panel's suggestions include an additional two per cent of funding to ensure DHBs have the nursing and midwifery workforce capacity to deliver the required patient services.

This is a recommendation that the New Zealand Nurses Organisation is happy with. 

"This is a significant recommendation and not seen previously for nursing and midwifery," says Payne.

"The difficulty for nurses will be while there's a promise of more nurses to support the current workloads and address the crisis, if we don't do something about the pay immediately, then we're not going to be able to bring nurses across from other countries and retain our own nurses."

NZNO says it has provided district health boards with its response to the recommendations released today.

DHBs will now review recommendations before making an updated offer on Monday.

NZNO has also been taking a secret ballot for further strike action, which closes tomorrow, with the result of that also expected to be announced on Monday.