Strong Progress On Private Hospital Agreements

With Enterprise Agreements in the private hospital sector due for renewal, the NSWNA has developed draft core claims.

Draft core claims for private hospital agreements has been developed by the NSWNA and includes key issues and concerns members want to see addressed in private hospital Enterprise Agreements.

Wage increases and a process to manage workloads are a top priority.

‘Workloads management is a significant issue for members working in private hospitals,’ said Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda. ‘It’s not quite in the same terms as the public sector, because workloads are managed based on patients going in for a particular procedure. But there is always pressure on staff to complete their work within a certain time period. Surgical lists can blow out and nurses get rostered on for an eight-hour shift in surgery and don’t end up leaving until 12 hours later. So hours management and workloads management are very important to private hospital members.’

Paid leave and flexible hours for staff experiencing domestic violence, and a higher night shift penalty are two new clauses the NSWNA is seeking to include in Agreements coming up for renewal.

An annual review of part-time hours is also listed in the draft core claims. While an annual review of part-time hours is not new in Enterprise Agreements in other sectors, it does not have a strong history in private hospitals.

The core claims were developed by the private hospitals claims committee, which included representatives from a range of private hospital employers elected by the NSWNA Committee of Delegates.

Ramsay negotiations underway

Negotiations are currently underway with Ramsay Health Care, employer of around 3000 nurses in 27 facilities across NSW.

A Bargaining Organising Committee (BOC) has been formed comprising representatives from each Ramsay Branch and facility, who will work with NSWNA officials during the negotiations.

‘The BOC will help keep all members informed during the negotiation process and ensure the NSWNA gets feedback about what matters most to members at Ramsay Hospitals,’ said Judith Kiejda.

‘In the past we have achieved great improvements to wages and conditions in agreements through member participation. It’s important to be involved and help achieve great wins for nurses and midwives in NSW private hospitals.’

Suzana Tanevska, CNS at St George Private Hospital, said nurses at their branch wanted parity with the public sector in terms of wages and workloads. We’re asking for equality because we are all nurses and all do the same job, irrespective of which hospital we work at,’ she told The Lamp.

Suzana encouraged members to be active in participating in discussions around pay and conditions at their workplaces. ‘Being united as one across all Ramsay sites gives us the opportunity to be fully informed of what’s happening and ensure we get what we want.’