Pay offer is good but we need to maintain the pressure

Emma Fisher, RN and NSWNA Branch Secretary at Kareena Private Hospital, believes the Ramsay pay offer is excellent but says private hospital nurses will need to keep active to improve conditions

’The pay offer is good. But for most people in my workplace the conditions are the most important – especially paid parental leave and reasonable workloads,’ she said.

‘I’ve had a couple of friends who have left, not just because of the pay difference with the public hospitals but also because of the workloads. The fact we now have in place a process for resolving workloads issues is a big achievement.’

Emma said she understood the importance of getting an agreement with employers before the federal government’s new workplace laws kick in at the end of March.

‘WorkChoices is scary. We want things locked in so our conditions can’t be stripped away.’

Emma said this pay campaign has opened the eyes of many private hospital nurses to the value of being in the union.

‘There have been a lot of people who have been coming out wearing the badges and armbands. People are finding it easier getting problems solved if we approach it as a branch.

‘It will be important to maintain this activism. It improves morale if people can voice their concerns safely and we will need this involvement to protect our conditions in the future,’ she said.

The NSWNA has developed a poster showing the steps to achieving a reasonable workload in private hospitals. Contact the NSWNA on 8595 1234 for posters to put up in your tea room.