Nurses and midwives will see their pay go up by at least 9.5 per cent by August next year while $38 million of new funding will be provided to allow district health boards to hire extra staff under the latest pay offer.

The New Zealand Nurses' Organisation has recommended its members accept the latest offer which would avoid planned strike action.

Nurses began negotiations a year ago and had rejected three earlier offers. The organisation last week entered into urgent facilitation through the Employment Relations Authority to try to reach an agreement before the strikes, the first of which was to take place on Thursday.

A new offer was tabled on Friday and the first strike called off while members voted.


Today, the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation has released details of the latest offer.

The revised offer includes a further 3 per cent pay rise for those at the top of their field to provide a more equitable outcome, $38 million in new funding to provide safe staffing levels in hospitals and community-based organisations and a guarantee any pay equity claims would be assessed and implemented by December 31, 2019.

Midwives and healthcare assistants industrial services manager Cee Payne said those were among the key priorities identified by members' after the last vote.

"The NZNO negotiation team has made a recommendation on this offer because they really do believe there is no additional funding that can be achieved by taking industrial action at this time," Payne said.

"It will mean that nursing is back on its feet. It will stem the exodus of young and skilled nurses from New Zealand. It will become a profession of choice once again."

She said the revised offer included additional financial recognition for all occupational groups covered by the DHB Multi-Employer Collective Agreement above general wage increases.

Payne said the offer also allows pay equity negotiations, which may lead to further pay increases before the agreement expires.

Those employed under the collective agreement would receive a one off lump sum payment of $2000 as soon as the agreement was ratified.


Nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and hospital aides on the top tier of each category were also given a further 3 per cent pay rise from May 2019 boosting their total increase to at least 12.5 per cent.

By August 5, 2019, new graduate registered nurses and midwives would start on an annual base salary of $54,000, up from $49,500. Top tier registered nurses and midwives would be able to earn $77,386 by August, 2020.

Designated senior nurses and midwives would start on $79,760 by August next year and could earn up to $130,653.

The extra funding to employ more staff would take effect immediately to allow recruiting to begin.

District health boards spokeswoman Helen Mason said she was pleased the nurses' organisation had taken the revised offer to its members.

"The revised offer means more people will receive pay rises, there are increased commitments to addressing workforce issues and a firm undertaking to implement the outcome of the pay equity discussions with the NZNO," she said.

"DHBs are continuing to plan for the second strike that is scheduled for 24 hours from 7am on Thursday 12 July."

DHB members will vote for the agreement online from tomorrow. Voting closes at 5pm on July 9.

The details

• Senior nurses and midwives and nurse practitioners would have their pay increased by 10.6 per cent on all grade steps and 13.6 per cent on the top step of each grade.

•Community nurses and midwives would have their pay increased by 9.6 per cent on all wage steps and 12.6 per cent for those on step eight of the scale.

• Registered nurses and midwives on all wage steps would also get paid 9.5 per cent extra. Two new salary steps were also introduced at $72,944 and $77,386 - equivalent to 12.5 per cent and 15.9 per cent pay rises respectively.

• Enrolled nurses on all wage steps would get a pay rise of 9.5 per cent but a new salary step would be created to give another 3 per cent.

• Healthcare assistants and hospital aides would also get a 9.5 per cent rise with a new salary step created offering another 3 per cent.