Thursday 18th December 2008
Union Collective Agreement delivers 18% pay rise
Belonging to the NSWNA has paid off for nurses working at Blue Care aged care facilities. With the support of the NSWNA, nurses at Amaroo Nursing Home and Kingscliff Gardens have just secured an 18% pay rise over three years.
Staff at at the Blue Care facilities voted almost unanimously to accept the offer from their employer Blue Care last month.
NSWNA delegate at Amaroo, Brian Bruce said, ‘Members are all very, very happy with the new agreement – the pay rise is fantastic but the improved workloads clause and increased long-service leave is probably more important.
‘We also secured nine week’s maternity leave for all nurses, with an extra three weeks for employees who have worked here longer than three years.
‘Management have told us they want to be an employer of choice and the new agreement goes a long way to achieving this,’ said Brian.
‘Being a nurse, I don’t really understand all the legal ins and outs. I mean most of us have trouble understanding our payslips let alone the awards or how to bargain effectively.
‘This is exactly why we’re in a union. Our NSWNA organiser is so on the ball, she came and asked us what we wanted and set about helping us achieve that.’
Having recruited 20 members himself, Brian knows the key to successful bargaining is membership – and the key to a healthy membership is recruitment.
‘We have a really good quality of membership here – our numbers are usually above 70%.
‘With the high staff turnover in aged care you have to get around regularly to see new people and explain the benefits of joining the Union.
‘I don’t harass people – I can tell them the basics in 30 seconds, give them a form and let them decide. I usually follow up a couple of weeks later to see how they went.
‘Really, the benefits are obvious – just look at our new Union Collective Agreement.
‘Joining the Union is like taking out insurance – you wouldn’t think twice about insuring your house or your car or your health – what about your livelihood?’ said Brian.