March 31, 2020
Risk higher but pay lower for Maori nurses
The Nurses Organisation says the COVID-19 crisis has again highlighted the injustice of differential pay rates between DHB staff and nurses working for the community and Māori providers.
Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says there are huge stresses on all nurses at this time, especially those who need to go into the community and into people’s homes.
"My heart goes out to these Māori and iwi provider nurses who we know don't get paid the same as their colleagues in the district health boards and yet their PPE gear, their protection, their isolation techniques, the way they manage assessments in the community are exactly the same as we need in DHBs, but these groups are getting paid significantly less," she says.
Ms Nuku says while the Health Ministry says there are sufficient supplies of protective equipment like masks and hand sanitiser, community health workers and disability support staff are concerned it is not getting through the DHB distribution chain down to their level.
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