Finally, a decent agreement from Ramsay

Members at Ramsay Healthcare are voting on a new agreement with excellent pay increases – finalised after members petitioned their employer and difficult negotiations with Ramsay.

As The Lamp reaches mailboxes this month, members at Ramsay Healthcare are voting on a new Collective Agreement that offers a 12.14% pay increase over 34 months, closing the gap in wage parity with public hospital nurses from 12 to six months.

As reported in the March issue of The Lamp, the Agreement expires on 1 July 2011 and offers significant pay increases of:

  • 3% from 1 January 2009;
  • 1% from 1 April 2009;
  • 3.9% from 1 January 2010;
  • 3.75% from 1 January 2011.

The Agreement also provides a new skills allowance of $25 per week at Level 1 and $35 a week at Level 2. This is a new allowance to recognise higher qualifications held by nurses that are used in their current role.

On call allowances are also significantly increased.

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said, ‘While we are frustrated by six months of protracted and frustrating negotiations with Ramsay, the NSWNA and members are very happy with the final Agreement. Over the 34 months of the Agreement, the wage increases amount to 4.28% per year.

‘The Agreement also halves the time lag in pay parity with the public health sector. Before the Agreement, the delay in parity was 12 months, after the Agreement the gap closes to 6 months.

‘The compound effect of good pay increases and closer timing makes for a very good agreement,’ said Judith.

Emma Fisher, RN and Branch Secretary at Kareena Private Hospital, said Ramsay has offered a good agreement but she doesn’t appreciate their delay in putting a decent offer on the table. ‘The delay seemed to be about saving money. While that was going on I thought about leaving for the public health sector.

‘But in the end we achieved excellent pay outcomes that bring us closer to the public health sector. I recommend to my colleagues they vote yes to this new Agreement.

‘It was a well organised campaign. We were kept up-to-date via phone conferencing where we were able to immediately discuss issues with the NSWNA and members at other Ramsay facilities,’ said Emma.