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Winners and Losers: Organizational Impacts of a Nurses Pay Agreement

By N. North and James Buchan

Abstract

This article considers the impacts on organizations of a new national employment agreement for nurses in New Zealand. In the 1980s, local employer bargaining replaced national awards. As nurses' employment conditions deteriorated, in 2004 that trend was reversed with a new national agreement between the nurses' union and the public sector health boards. Qualitative information was collected and analyzed from two employers covered by the agreement and from five nongovernment organizations not party to the agreement. In the organizations studied, there was evidence of winners and losers within and between organizations, flow-on effects on other groups of nurses not represented by the union and on other employee groups. Although impacts on public sector nursing workforces were generally positive, some imbalances and unintended consequences arose from the agreement. Differing experiences and perspectives of a national pay agreement largely reflected local nurse market conditions. © The Author(s) 2009

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:1384
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