Ramsay and Healthscope lead the way

Hospital employers pledge no changes without consent

Australia’s biggest private hospital employers have promised they will not change existing employment conditions for two years despite new federal industrial laws which promote reduced conditions.

Ramsay and Healthscope issued letters to staff and the NSW Nurses’ Association, following a request from the NSWNA to provide nurses protection of their existing employment conditions.

Ramsay Health Care said the company intended to be ‘a fair, competitive and predictable employer’.

‘To provide staff with certainty during this time of change and uncertainty, I can confirm that it is Ramsay’s intention to maintain existing terms and conditions of the current state awards and agreements for a period of two years (unless mutually agreed changes are incorporated into them),’ wrote Ramsay’s Group Human Resources Manager, Gavin O’Meara.

‘Any changes to current awards or renewal of agreements will occur as they have always occurred, following negotiations with the relevant union and employees,’ he wrote.

Ramsay employs more than 20,000 people at its 69 hospitals and five aged care facilities across Australia.

Healthscope State Manager Paul Waterson also wrote to the Association in December stating its commitment to ‘continue to apply all the terms and conditions of the current award unless Healthscope and the NSWNA negotiate an Agreement to vary it before 2007’.