Wednesday 26th August 2009
Protection at 220 workplaces in aged care
NSWNA negotiates 57 new agreements in aged care, winning leading pay and conditions at more than 220 workplaces.
A fifth of NSW aged care workplaces working in aged care have won significant pay rises and improved conditions, with 57 employers signing up to new agreements in the past month.
The new agreements are based on the template agreement negotiated between Aged and Community Services (NSW) (ACS), the NSWNA and the Health Services Union (HSU) in July 2009.
The new work laws have allowed the NSWNA to negotiate a multi-employer agreement with 47 aged care providers, covering nurses at 220 facilities. Under the old WorkChoices, agreements had to be negotiated site by site with individual employers. Ten aged care employers have also signed single employer agreements (see table below).
At the time of printing, most of the 57 agreements had been put to vote and accepted by nurses working at the facilities.
The new agreements deliver a pay rise of 3% from the first pay period after 1 July 2009, and a further pay rise of 3% from 1 July 2010. An RN8 under this agreement is paid 6% more than those working for most for-profit employers who have not negotiated Enterprise Agreements.
Importantly, the new agreements include a commitment to reasonable workloads and provide a process to manage workloads. They also include nine weeks’ paid maternity and adoption leave and one weeks’ paid paternity leave.
The 47 employers who have signed the new agreements are amongst the biggest employers in aged care, and most took up the previous ACS template agreement in 2007.
NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said these employers are to be congratulated for giving their staff the recognition they deserve with a good agree-ment that offers fair pay and conditions.
‘They will become employers of choice in the aged care sector. There’s a chronic shortage of nurses in aged care. Nurses will choose to work for employers who offer the fairest pay and conditions.
‘These 57 new agreements based on the ACS agreement set a benchmark in the sector and employers who fail to meet these standards will lose staff,’ said Judith.
‘Overall, not-for-profit employers who are ACS members are paying more and offering better conditions than for-profit employers. The pressure is now on the for-profit providers to negotiate fair agreements with the NSWNA.’
New aged care employers on board