Wednesday 3rd August 2011
Nurses at Macquarie Private Hospitals stopped work for 24 hours and rallied against poor pay and conditions.
Nurses at Macquarie Private Hospitals took strike action as The Lamp went to print. Twenty-four-hour work stoppages took place on Tuesday 26 July at Minchinbury Community Hospital (Mount Druitt), Delmar Private Hospital (Dee Why), Manly Waters Private Hospital (Manly), Eastern Suburbs Private Hospital (Randwick) and President Private (Kirrawee).
During the 24-hour work stoppage, nurses rallied outside the offices of Channel Seven’s Sunrise show in the Sydney CBD.
Around 70 nurses from the five Macquarie Hospitals rallied at Martin Place, with many returning to their hospitals to gather outside and let their local communities know about their situation.
The nurses carried out the strike action in protest against their employer refusing to improve substandard pay and maintain conditions. Most nurses have not had a pay rise in two years and wages are dragging over 15% behind public health sector wages and up to 12% behind other private hospital sector wages.
Despite 19 months of negotiations for an Enterprise Agreement, the employer continues to offer a grossly substandard pay offer and demand that conditions be reduced.
In May, the NSWNA sought and won an order from Fair Work Australia for nurses to vote on taking protected industrial action, and by 21 June nurses at all five facilities had voted overwhelmingly in favour of a range of industrial actions.
‘This strike action shows the strength of feeling experienced by nurses at Macquarie Private Hospitals,’ said NSW Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda. ‘They want an Enterprise Agreement that brings their wages and maintains conditions to the level received by other nurses in the State, which is only right and fair.’
Stay tuned to The Lamp for further developments.