Looming Nurses’ Strike

Negotiations between the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), and district health boards (DHBs) have stalled after nurses voted to reject the latest pay offer yesterday.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is the union that represents nurses. The DHBs are the organisations that run hospitals.

The strike will go from 11am until 7pm Wednesday the ninth of June.

The nurses who go on strike will participate in protests outside the hospitals. These protests are called picket lines. Traditionally, they are to stop other workers from coming into the place of work, but of course, this can’t happen with hospitals because there are so many people coming and going.

If you need urgent medical attention during the strike, you can still go to hospital, or dial 111. But if your problem is not an emergency, you should call Healthline or your doctor.

Many elective appointments have been postponed. Elective appointments are meetings to get medical treatment that is not essential.

On Thursday, when the strike is over, the union and the DHBs will meet again to continue negotiations. If the offer from the DHBs to the union is again rejected, Nurses will go on strike again.

Nurses say that they are not only striking for better pay, but they also want better working conditions. If working conditions are bad, people will not want to work as nurses, and then there will be a shortage of nurses.


postpone: put off until a later date, reschedule

union: a democratic organisation to protect workers’ rights

reject: say no to something, refuse

represent: to speak or act for someone else

conditions: the things that affect your job; for example, how many other people you are working with and how much work you have to do