Vote now for better pay and safe staffing

Its time for NSWNA public health system members to vote on the draft claims for Campaign 2010.

The Public Health System Award expires on 30 June and a campaign to improve pay and conditions in the public health system has kicked off. According to NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes, we need the active involvement of all NSWNA members in the public health system to achieve strong outcomes in the 2010 pay campaign.

The NSWNA has consulted extensively with members in focus groups across Sydney and regional areas, an online survey last November, Branch meetings in December and through delegates at NSWNA Annual Conference to hear your views and priorities for Campaign 2010.

A Log of Claims Committee elected by NSWNA delegates across NSW has developed a draft Log of Claims for Campaign 2010, based on your views and priorities.

Right now NSWNA members have the opportunity to discuss and vote on the proposed claim (see pages 22-23) before negotiations begin.

‘All members are encouraged to attend Branch meetings and cast your vote by Friday, 9 April,’ said Brett. ‘All public health system facilities (not including affiliated health organisations) should hold a meeting to discuss the proposed claim.’

Pay rise that recognises your dedication and responsibility

Brett Holmes said, ‘The NSWNA recommends a claim of a 5% pay rise per year for a four-year agreement. This amount would keep nurses and midwives ahead of inflation predictions and reward you for your hard work and increasing responsibility.’

Say ‘no’ to the Government’s 2.5% offer

Nurses have received good pay rises in recent years but it’s been hard fought. The Government is again stating it will only pay NSW public sector workers 2.5% per year.

‘The Government says if you want more than this, you have to pay for it through “offsets”. Nurses are clearly saying this bean-counting approach must stop and the Government should reverse the higher-grade duty “offset” that it forced upon you in 2008. It’s time for nurses to draw the line,’ said Brett.

Staffing and skill mix for safe patient care

Despite the Reasonable Workloads Clause, nurse and midwife workloads are getting worse in NSW public hospitals and health services. ‘Our research and consultation with members reveals that nurses are at breaking point and believe patient care is being compromised – to the point of being unsafe. We need to improve the current process,’ said Brett.

‘We are recommending a clearer, simpler staffing model with mandated nurse-patient ratios to ensure patient safety. Over the coming months the Association will be working with members to develop claims for specific minimum staffing for different nursing specialties.’

NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes and Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda strongly recommend that NSWNA Branches endorse this claim and get behind the effort to make the new 2010 Award a great win.

How we get a new Award

Here are the stages to achieving a new Award:

Activity When Status
Research – member survey, Branch meetings, discussion groups Oct 09-Feb 10 Complete
Draft claim developed March Complete
Branches vote on draft claim By 9 April Now
Negotiations From May When Government makes an offer
Member support to win a good result From May Ongoing
Vote on proposed settlement TBA Occurs when members are satisfied with Government’s offer
Completed new Award TBA When approved by Branches