Pay rise at St Vincent’s Private

Lamp Feb 2012 Cover

Paul Pager: 'We had good turnouts at most membership meetings to discuss the negotiations.'

Paul Pager: ‘We had good turnouts at most membership meetings to discuss the negotiations.’

The NSWNA has won pay increases and new and improved allowances for nurses at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Darlinghurst.A union-negotiated enterprise agreement at St Vincent’s Private Hospital recognises the value of post-graduate qualifications for nurses with the introduction of a new allowance.

The allowance adds $30 per week to the base rate of pay of nurses who are required to have relevant post-graduate qualifications. Those required to have a master’s degree get an additional $30. Management had resisted this allowance in negotiations for earlier enterprise agreements.

Incorporating the post-graduate allowance into the base pay rate delivers an increase in all payments, such as annual leave loading, shift penalties and superannuation.

St Vincent’s Private in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst employs about 620 nurses. Under the agreement all receive a 3.9% pay increase fully backdated to the first full pay period in January 2011, followed by a 3.5% increase from the first full pay period in January 2012 and 3% from the first full pay period in January 2013.

Union members unanimously endorsed the agreement negotiated by a combined team of ward representatives and NSWNA officers.

NSWNA Branch President at the 250-bed hospital, Paul Pager, said members were generally pleased with the agreement, especially the size of the pay increase, the fact that it is fully backdated and the recognition of post-graduate qualifications.

‘We had good turnouts at most membership meetings to discuss the negotiations and a very good turnout at the final meeting,’ said Paul, an acting nurse educator.

‘Management tried to get us to relinquish some allowances in return for the pay rises, but through negotiation and the combined effort of all the nurses involved, management eventually agreed to the increases without any trade offs.’