Aged care talks get underway

Cover story - Aged care talks get underway - TimetoAct300

A fairer outcome for nurses working in for-profit nursing homes is at the heart of the NSWNA’s latest aged care campaign.

The campaign for new enterprise agreements for nurses working in the for-profit aged care industry begin this month, when the NSW Nurses’ Association opens talks with the Aged Care Association of Australia.

This follows workplace meetings across the state where strong support is being shown for the union’s aim to achieve higher pay, greater recognition of qualifications and safer workloads.

The union seeks to extend and improve the current enterprise agreements. The minority of employers still paying their nurses under the “safety net” Nurses Award will be asked to sign an enterprise agreement.

The union’s claims are based on extensive research and consultation with members, including a detailed survey of more than 1000 nurses.

An elected Log of Claims Committee, consisting of six nurses working in a range of for-profit nursing homes, has helped draft the recommended claims.

NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the union had concentrated on visiting as many for-profit aged care workplaces as possible in recent months, to talk to members about the upcoming agreement.

Brett says it is vital that as many aged care nurses as possible join the NSWNA and take part in the campaign.

“The more members you have in a workplace the better the outcome you can achieve.”

The NSWNA campaign seeks greater recognition of the skills, qualifications and experience of aged care nurses. This includes higher pay and allowances, updating classifications to recognise qualifications and experience, and an increase in the in-charge allowance.

Workloads and job security are also a focus of the campaign. The union is calling for a fairer, safer way of managing workloads, more access to paid training and more rights for casuals.

The claim is also designed to make it easier for nurses to balance life and work. That includes better leave entitlements and the option to choose more flexible working arrangements.

What you can do

  • Become a workplace contact and get involved in the campaign
  • Talk to your colleagues about the campaign and if they aren’t members of the NSWNA ask them to join. The more members you have, the better outcome you can achieve.
  • Look out for more updates and activities in The Lamp, Twitter, YouTube or the NSWNA website www.nswnurses.asn.au.
  • Buy a campaign t-shirt from NSWNA Merchandise 02 8595 1234