Massey Nursing students are among those calling for a pay increase for all nursing staff across the country.
New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), which represents more 27,000 nurses, has been in talks to secure a pay increase for its workers since last year.
District health boards have since proposed a two per cent salary increase, a $1050 lump sum payment and a pay equity settlement commitment for nurses by 2019.
However, late last month NZNO announced nurses voted against these proposals and a strike is now on the cards.
Current Massey nursing student, Megan Hammond, is among those to support the rejection.
“I have attended NZNO meetings at the hospital discussing the two options nurses had. I believe that two per cent is not enough for the work nurses do,” says Hammond.
She says nurses work hard and it’s not a job for the faint hearted.
“I feel confident becoming a registered nurse as it is something I’m passionate about and have worked hard to achieve,” she says.
“But the current issues have allowed me to see that I may have to fight for my rights and my patients’ rights as a nurse,” says Hammond.
An ex- Massey nursing student who wishes to remain anonymous, currently works as a registered nurse and agrees with Hammond.
“I made more money working at McDonald’s,” she says.
“One of the most challenging things about being a nurse is the stress. It’s a no-brainer, nurses are stressed out.
“If it’s not the understaffing that makes it difficult to manage our loads and provide good quality care to our patients, its being under-resourced that requires us to run around the hospital looking for the things that we need for our patients,” the ex-student says.
The recent pay rejection along with recent tensions in the Massey School of Nursing, fortunately has not stopped Hammond from wanting to be a nurse.
Both say they will attend a strike if one is held.
“No one is listening and obviously something has to happen for them to finally listen and respect the work we perform,” says Hammond.