Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in the Whanganui region will join a national strike over pay on Wednesday, June 9.
About 30,000 members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) nationwide are set to stop work from 11am to 7pm on June 9 after an earlier offer they said was a 1.4 per cent pay rise.
Negotiations between the union and district health boards have been under way since June last year.
Nurses are considering a late pay offer by DHBs attempting to avoid a nationwide strike.
NZNO industrial organiser Glenda Alexander said the ballot on a new offer from the DHBs went out on Monday and nurses had until next Monday to make a decision.
In the meantime, plans for the strike remained in place, she said.
Whanganui District Health Board chief operating officer-director of nursing Lucy Adams said the DHB recognised the legal right of NZNO members to strike and appreciated the valuable work nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives did daily.
"Safe, quality care of patients and whānau is of utmost importance on the day of the strike, as it is any other day," Adams said.
"We want to assure the community that life-preserving services will be maintained to prevent patient harm or deterioration during the strike period."
Lead advocate and NZNO industrial adviser David Wait said voter turnout was high and he was extremely pleased by the unity shown by members participating in the ballot, which closed on May 13.
He said union members were angry and frustrated at the first DHB offer received last month that would have seen most members get a 1.38 per cent increase, just under the rate of inflation.
"This is despite the incredible sacrifices they made in 2020 to keep the country safe from Covid-19."
A Whanganui DHB spokeswoman said if people's surgery or outpatient appointments were deferred due to the strike, they would be contacted and given a timeframe for future appointments.
The strike does not affect the oncology clinic. People should keep their appointments and turn up as scheduled.
Appointments for people in Group 3 booked for a Covid-19 vaccination will go ahead.