Story: Women’s labour organisations

Trained nurses, 1909

Trained nurses, 1909

This is the first meeting of the New Zealand Trained Nurses’ Association’s Central Council. The association took an anti-union stance. President Hester McLean (seated third from left) argued that ‘we must guard against any element of unionism … A nurse must be working not … for the sake of money making but for the good of her fellow creatures.’ This attitude was maintained into the 1950s, when the association rejected a government attempt to introduce payment for overtime.

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New Zealand Nurses Organisation

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s labour organisations - The first women’s unions and associations, 1878 to 1939', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 20 Dec 2022