The first for-profit aged care model agreement negotiated in 2010 brought tangible benefits for nurses employed by more than 50 companies. This year we are looking to improve and extend it to up to 80 employers covering 160 facilities.
Preparations are under way for the renewal of the model agreement in the for-profit sector of aged care.
To kick off the campaign the NSWNA conducted comprehensive research of aged care members through focus groups and surveys at the end of 2011.
A number of regional meetings will be held throughout February where members will be consulted as part of the process of building a claim for better pay and conditions in the for-profit aged care sector. These meetings will finalise the NSWNA claims. Over 1000 aged care members participated in our research and there will be a report on what members told us about what they want in the new model agreement.
The meetings will be held at Revesby and Gosford on Wednesday 15 February, Blacktown and Newcastle on Thursday 16 February and Dee Why and Taree on Tuesday 21 February (see box).
NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes says the pay and conditions campaign gives aged care workers across the for-profit sector an opportunity to stand together and improve their workplaces.
‘Participation by members in this campaign is the key to getting a good outcome. It is critical that we have as many staff as possible in the union in each facility across the sector and that we are prepared to take a stand to get what we deserve: a decent pay rise and good conditions of work,’ he said.
Brett says there are around 50 employers who have had the model Enterprise Agreement in place since 2010.
‘We expect them to do the right thing and offer the new model agreement to their nurses to vote when it is successfully negotiated.’
‘There are another 30 for-profit sector employers who have not yet offered an Enterprise Agreement. Their staff only have the Nurses award as a safety net but it does not provide for any pay increases.’
‘Bargaining is the only way to get improvements in pay and we hope these employers do the right thing by their staff and meet us at the bargaining table.’
A log of claims committee was elected at the NSWNA November Committee of Delegates. The log of claims committee consists of Ursula Bujnowicz (Mudgee Nursing Home), Norma Bukalan (Columbia Aged Care Services, Marrickville), Linda Hardman (Wollongong Nursing Home), Jocelyn Hofman (Anita Villa Aged Care), Desiree Pearson (Bathurst Nursing Home) and Shirley Ross-Shuley (The Ritz Nursing Home).
The committee consists of elected members working in aged care who work with NSWNA researchers and negotiators to prepare a draft claim.
They are joined by Coral Levett (President, NSWNA) and NSWNA Councillors Louise Howell and Lucille McKenna. Brett Holmes (General Secretary, NSWNA), Judith Kiejda (Assistant General Secretary), and senior NSWNA industrial officers are also on the committee.
In 2010 NSWNA negotiated the first ever ‘model’ Enterprise Agreement covering for-profit nursing homes in NSW.
The model agreement was negotiated between the NSWNA and the employer body Aged Care Association of Australia (ACAA). Individual employers across the whole for-profit aged care sector could then adopt the agreement.
The 2010 model agreement initially covered 78 residential aged care facilities owned by 26 employers. Pressure by NSWNA members saw this number subsequently swell to around 50 employers.
The first agreement delivered pay increases above the inflation rate; protected conditions nurses received before the introduction of a national award and added some new rights.
It included a 4% pay rise in the first year and 3% the following year plus other benefits (see below).
The main features of the agreement were:
More comprehensive details of the 2010 model agreement are available on the NSWNA website.
NSWNA conducts comprehensive research
Late January 2012:
meeting of the log of claims committee
consultation with members at public meetings
training for interested members. NSWNA serves log of claims on ACCA. Substantive talks begin with employers
current template agreement expires
Come to a meeting near you
A number of meetings will be held throughout NSW during February to finalise the log of claims:
Wednesday 15 February 2012
Revesby Waratah Room
Revesby Workers Club
Gosford Gosford Golf Club
Thursday 16 February 2012
Blacktown Blacktown Workers Club Wattle Room
Newcastle Impressions Room
Newcastle Wests Mayfield
Tuesday 21 February 2012
Dee Why Dee Why RSL
Taree Manning Valley Visitor Information Centre
All meetings start at 6pm
Employers in the for-profit aged care sector
There are around 80 different employers in the for-profit aged care sector who are potentially part of the campaign for this agreement. They own a total of around 160 facilities. About 50 of these employers have had a model Enterprise Agreement in place since 2010. There are 30 for-profit sector employers who have not yet offered an Enterprise Agreement.
Employers with facilities currently covered by NSWNA/ACAA model agreement – due for renewal 1/7/12
Employers with facilities not yet covered by an agreement. Coverage is currently Nurses’ Award safety net only.
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