2007: A victory for nurses’ rights

It’s been a tough but worthwhile year for nurses in NSW. The union and NSWNA members waged one of our toughest campaigns ever against Howard’s new IR laws, and on election day Australians overwhelming showed that our rights at work are worth voting for.

A change of Federal Government in 2007 means the winding back of these laws and a big boost to nurses’ rights.

Extra pay for continuing education
The NSWNA won extended and improved allowances for public hospital nurses with relevant post registration qualifications. As a result, up to 10,000 nurses are now eligible for a continuing education allowance.

Ads defending nurses’ rights
As part of our campaign against WorkChoices, the NSWNA ran two sets of TV ads defending nurses’ rights in the lead ups to State and Federal elections.

Workloads breakthroughs
Strong campaigns delivered extra staff for overworked RPA midwives and mental health nurses at Morisset Hospital. The NSWNA also worked with the Health Department to develop new mandatory guidelines on managing workloads in emergency departments, community health services and mental health inpatient units.

Standing up for safety
Union action delivered security and OHS improvements at Inverell Hospital.

Wins in aged care
Despite the insecure environment created by WorkChoices, the NSWNA negotiated Union Collective Agreements in 2007 with many aged care employers, protecting existing conditions and locking in future pay rises. The agreements are based on a template agreement negotiated by NSWNA, HSU and the Aged and Community Services Association (ACS).