First union agreement for Regis

The NSW Nurses Association has negotiated the first ever union collective agreement to cover the Regis Groups six nursing homes in NSW.

Regis nurses will get three wage increases of 3.25% paid every October during the three-year agreement.

Other new benefits include:

  • Paid maternity leave
  • A reasonable workloads provision
  • Faster accumulation of long service leave (13 weeks/10 years)
  • 15% penalty rate for all shifts starting after 12pm and before 6am
  • Minimum 10-hour break between rostered shifts.

About 70% of Regis staff voted in favour of the agreement, which also covers non-nursing staff.

Four of the Regis homes were previously covered only by the award, which sets minimum standards. Two others at Port Stephens and Port Macquarie employed most nurses under individual contracts.

Regis management told the Union it wanted all sites under one agreement and wished to phase out individual contracts, said NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes.

‘The company was very co-operative and we managed to negotiate this agreement in just six weeks,’ Brett said.

He said the NSWNA branch at Regis Port Macquarie was re-established as a result of the bargaining process.

A member of the NSWNA bargaining committee covering all Regis sites, Dennis Mlalazi from the 110-bed Gannon Gardens at Hurstville, said most nurses felt the 3.25% pay increase was reasonable given that inflation is currently running at around 2.5%.

‘There are a number of “firsts” in the agreement including paid maternity leave and a reasonable workloads clause,’ Dennis said.

‘People were very interested in hearing what the Union representatives had to say during the bargaining process, especially at the final meeting before the ballot.

‘During the negotiations quite a number of people took up membership with the Union.’