Board decision on fees 'paternalistic'.
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Publication:||Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032|
|Issue:||Date: June, 2009 Source Volume: 15 Source Issue: 5|
I am astounded to Learn of the NZNO board of directors"
decision to alter the way tow income earners are assessed regarding the
fees they pay. This is a backward, uncaring and paternalistic move. Our
organisation derives strength and income from our membership--we should
be encouraging more members, not pushing low earners away with household
income assessment. The board appears overly concerned that a few
low-earning members may be from high-earning households. So what if one
nurse from a rich family, working one day a fortnight, is getting
complete NZNO services for the low fee rate? A union is supposed to look
after all members, particularly the vulnerable.
The board seems removed from real people's situations. A woman may not have access to other household members-income and even her Own income may not really belong to her. Many women go without to ensure their children have what they need, or their partners may take their earnings. You may think it is just a matter of finding another $5 a week. Yes, for some people $5 may be little more than the price of a cup of coffee, but for many families $5 can mean a child can participate in a school activity or pay for nearly half a kilo of cheese (on special) to add protein to the children's diet.
There are many reasons a nurse may be part time and low earning. S/he may be trying to maintain competency while looking after the family. Competency-based practising certification has already added financial costs, time pressures and stress to many nurses. Why stress nurses further by inspecting their household income?
I urge the board to reconsider this "user -pays" approach to fee setting, send Letters of apology to the tow income members and reinstate those who were financially embarrassed or who felt compelled to resign over this issue. NZNO has been tainted by this poor decision, particularly unfortunate in this, our centennial year. [Abridged]
Catherine Sinclair, RN, BSc, Wellington NZNO chief executive Geoff Annals replies: The board has decided to review its decision on this matter at its June meeting.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|