Hundreds of Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) members employed by Lifeblood, will meet today (Sunday 10 September) to hear an update on the employer’s proposed, single enterprise agreement which would cover workers across the country. It will be the first-time the ANMF has conducted a national mass industrial meeting on-line.
ANMF members, including registered nurses (RN), enrolled nurses (EN) and nursing assistants (DSNAs) work for Lifeblood to help ensure the nation’s supply of blood and blood products is safely supplied to hospitals and other health providers.
Lifeblood proposes one enterprise agreement to cover ANMF members nationally, however many ANMF branches have been negotiating with Lifeblood to replace their expired agreements for years. The agreement applicable to NSW and ACT nurses/DSNAs expired over two years ago. The agreement applicable in the NT expired over four years ago.
ANMF members will hear from their colleagues from around Australia about the conditions Lifeblood proposes, such as freezing progression for many nurses and DSNAs working at lower pay points at pay point 4, with no chance to move to higher pay points. The ANMF understands that depending on the classification, Lifeblood proposes that new nurses who join them would be appointed somewhere in a pay range, with little transparency.
Lifeblood is offering five weeks of annual leave to all nurses and DSNAs, currently many do not receive this entitlement. The Nurses Award 2020 provides five weeks of annual leave as a baseline. It is also offering unlimited paid domestic violence leave and other conditions that ANMF support.
ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said that the hundreds of members taking-part in the on-line meeting demonstrated how increasingly frustrated they were with ongoing negotiations.
“Throughout bargaining, Lifeblood has repeatedly delayed sharing important documents with the ANMF. And despite having months to prepare for bargaining, Lifeblood has drip-fed information, making bargaining very difficult,” Ms Butler said today.
“If Lifeblood wants to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce, we’re asking that they treat their employees with respect and transparency. Lifeblood needs to be up-front with the total package they want to offer and which conditions they want to remove from enterprise agreements our members currently have. That’s only fair.
“This meeting is the next step in our campaign for a fair deal for our members at Lifeblood. We’ll hear from ANMF members and officials from around the country and consider a range of options to advance our members’ interests.”
ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne.