Saturday 20th February 2010
Lend Lease Primelife signs off on new Enterprise Agreement
NSWNA members have approved a new Enterprise Agreement with Lend Lease Primelife that wins a raft of benefits including top pay increases for around 1,000 nurses in 13 facilities across NSW.
One of the first Enterprise Agreements negotiated with a large, for-profit employer in aged care, the new Enterprise Agreement with Lend Lease Primelife is a major breakthrough for the aged care sector. To date, most not-for-profit employers in aged care have come to the bargaining table with the NSWNA to negotiate an Enterprise Agreement, but for-profit employers have lagged behind.
‘It’s an excellent achievement and Lend Lease Primelife will be seen by nurses as an employer of choice among for-profit employers in aged care,’ said NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda.
‘It will enable Lend Lease Primelife to retain highly skilled nurses.’
During the bargaining process, a number of surveys identified what was important to members. These were minimum part-time hours, casual conversion, and workloads. Through strong membership, the Association was able to achieve these outcomes during negotiations.
The Agreement delivers an annualised average pay rise of 4.3% over the life of the Agreement, which is three years and five months. This compares favourably with recent public sector pay increases.
Other improvements are relatively new to the aged care sector, including minimum part-time hours review, workload management and union training leave.
‘We are really excited about the good example this Agreement sets with the minimum part-time hours review, casual conversion, the workloads clause, and paid trade union training leave,’ said Judith.
Nurses at Lend Lease Primelife were previously covered under the Notional Agreement Preserving a State Award (NAPSA), so without a new Agreement they would have moved to the new Nurses’ Award 2010 that came into effect on 1 January 2010. ‘Compared to the Nurses’ Award 2010, there’s a huge difference in benefits,’ said Judith. ‘Nurses have been able to retain their conditions and allowances they had previously as well as improving in other areas,’ she said.
Shereen Chand, an RN at Lend Lease Primelife’s Bass Hill facility, hailed the win. ‘It’s about time the private sector gave a thought to benefits for staff that the public sector is already giving,’ she said. ‘The new Agreement is a very good thing.’
For Shereen, the pay increase was the highlight of the Agreement. ‘That hasn’t happened for some time,’ she said. ‘We are already deprived of a few dollars up our sleeves from the public sector and other private companies, so we have been pretty behind. It’s a good win.’