New grades and $584K back pay for DADHC nurses

NSWNA wins regrading of DADHC Nurse Managers and $584,506 back pay.

After years of negotiations with the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC), the NSWNA has won a big victory for Residential Unit Nurse Managers (RUNMs) within disability residencies.

The win will result in the re-grading of over 50% of NSW’s RUNMs, on the basis of the number of residents in their care and the intensity of the residents’ needs.

This grading should have taken place nearly five years ago, when DADHC agreed upon an appropriate process in July 2004. However, a series of stalling manoeuvres – including an attempt by the Department in 2006 to keep all RUNMs at a Grade One level – has corrugated the road.

‘The wait was dreadful. The Department did everything it could to not proceed. The issue of pay increments for RUNMs was put in the too hard basket,’ said Geoff Tyson, RUNM and NSWNA Branch President at Rydalmere.

Importantly, the seven RUNMs to be regraded as Level 3, as well as the 23 RUNMs to be graded Level 2, will receive back pay from the July 2004 agreement.

According to Jeff Jackson, RUNM and NSWNA Branch Secretary at Stockton Centre, this will amount to a payout of a massive $584,506. Some members who have been working in Level 3 positions for more than four years will receive over $25,000 in back pay.

‘The NSWNA has achieved what can only be called an outstanding result for members in the Grading of RUNMs at DADHC,’ said Jeff.

Pay increases will reflect the holistic attention that RUNMs provide for each indi-vidual resident whose care they coordinate.

‘Disability nursing is different to the acute care sector,’ said Geoff. ‘It is holistic in so much as we must provide for the resident’s physical, psychological and spiritual welfare, which may involve tasks as diverse as feeding and showering through to taking them to their preferred denomination of church. We care for each person’s “everything”,’ he said.

Another important aspect of the win is that DADHC will now only be able to rotate RUNMs within positions that receive the same level of pay.

RUNMs who do not agree with their grading will have six weeks to make an application for further assessment of their grade.