Unanimous vote for union agreement

Campbelltown Private approves pay deal

Nurses at the new Campbelltown Private Hospital in south-western Sydney have voted unanimously for a union-negotiated collective agreement with their employer, Healthscope.

The nurses approved the agreement in a ballot conducted by Healthscope.

They get a 6.5% wage increase in two instalments – 4% first pay period to commence on or after 1 September 2007 and 2.5% first pay period to commence on or after 30 June 2008.

The agreement will expire on 1 September 2008 at the same time as other Healthscope facilities.

NSW Nurses’ Association delegate at the hospital, Sharon Pippen, said members are pleased with the outcome.

‘Healthscope responded positively to the union’s case for improved wages and conditions,’ Sharon said.

‘We are better off under the union collective agreement because it gives the nurses protection and certainty, at a time when the federal government’s WorkChoices legislation does the opposite.’

The agreement:

  • Gives casual nurses the right to voluntarily convert to permanent employment in certain circumstances;
  • Establishes a disputes settlement procedure which makes the agreement legally enforceable and provides for binding arbitration if a dispute cannot be resolved by negotiation;
  • Establishes a process to address workload issues.
  • Sharon said the big majority of nurses at the 46-bed surgical facility, which opened in April, are union members.

‘Negotiations for a new collective agreement will commence next year. It is important that everyone is a union member. The more members at Campbelltown Private, the stronger our position will be when the next agreement is negotiated,’ she said.

‘As the union delegate, I encourage all nurses to join, and benefit from the protection and support of the union. It is a bonus to know that advice and support from the Association is just a phone call away.’

Healthscope is Australia’s second largest private hospital provider.