Urgent action needed now

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said the success of the Private Hospital Nurses’ Equal Rights Campaign relies on private hospital members getting active at their workplaces.

As part of the campaign, the NSWNA strongly urges all private hospital branches across NSW to organise a meeting and pass resolutions endorsing the actions of the NSWNA negotiating team in pursuing the claims that are important to members.

Many branches have already held meetings and passed such resolutions, indicating to private hospital employers their determination to achieve the campaign claims.

‘If your branch has yet to organise a meeting to endorse the campaign, it’s important you do so as soon as possible. It’s also important that all members attend their branch meetings. The more members we have who are prepared to get active and behind the campaign, the more powerful we will be in our negotiations,’ said Judith.

Private hospital members are also encouraged to wear the campaign badges and armbands at work.

‘Wearing a campaign badge shows employers that member are behind the campaign, and informs patients and the public that nurses are seeking fair pay and conditions for their valuable work,’ she said.

Westmead Private sends a strong message to employers

More than 30 members at Westmead Private Hospital – including two new members who signed up to join the Association – attended a branch meeting on 23 January to pass a resolution endorsing the Private Hospital Nurses’ Equal Rights Campaign.

Chrissy Eleponga, RN, joined the NSWNA team in gathering members for the meeting. ‘It was an exciting meeting. Members are really behind the campaign and gave their unaminous support to the NSWNA team,’ she said.

‘My main concern is wage disparity between private and public hospital nurses. I think we should be equal with the Public Hospitals because we do the same work.’

Chrissy is actively taking part in the Private Hospital Nurses’ Equal Rights Campaign by encouraging non members to join the union. ‘I talk to them about how we are fighting for our wages and the future income of nurses – this encourages young men and women to become nurses. It’s important that we all belong to the union so that we all get the same wages and conditions,’ she said.

‘Members received the campaign badges and Rights At Work armbands at the meeting and we’re proudly wearing them to show our support for the campaign.’

A Reasonable Workload is a top priority in the Private Hospital Nurses’ Equal Rights Campaign

6 steps to address excessive nurse workloads in private hospitals

A reasonable workload is your right

Private hospital nurses have a right to a reasonable workload. OHS legislation provides for safe systems of work and can be used to support workloads issues. If you are experiencing workload problems in your workplace, the following steps should be used.

  1. Nurses identify there is an ongoing workloads problem at their facility.
  2. Nurses raise the problem with their manager.
  3. If the manager does not address the issue, nurses inform their NSWNA branch executive. If you do not have a branch contact the NSWNA*. The branch needs to start collecting evidence to measure nurse workloads on each shift. This should include staffing levels, skills mix, the number of agency and casual staff, patient acuity and the duties required. A good way to do this is with a workloads diary that is handed over shift to shift.
  4. After a reasonable period (often 3 months), the branch presents the documented evidence to management and the workplace OHS committee, and asks that the issue be addressed. Note agreed action in writing.
  5. If the matter is not resolved, the NSWNA conducts a workplace inspection to examine safe work practices or other actions, depending on the specific case.
  6. If the problem is still not adequately addressed, the NSWNA may advise the facility that further action could be considered.

Authorised by NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes
* At any point in the process, members can seek assistance or advice from the NSWNA. Phone: 1300 367 962 or 02 8595 1234.