Short staffing key issue at Ramsay

The campaign for improved pay and conditions at Ramsay Health Care is under way after extensive consultation with members.

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Members have now voted on the log of claims for the Ramsay Health Care enterprise agreement.
Check the NSWMNA website for a comprehensive list of claims.

As The Lamp went to print talks to negotiate a new agreement to improve the pay and conditions of nurses and midwives were about to begin between the NSWNMA and management at Ramsay Health Care.

This followed an overwhelming vote in favour of a log of claims that contains claims for fairer staffing and a five per cent per annum pay increase.

NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the most common issue raised by Ramsay nurses and midwives, during the extensive consultation that preceded the compilation of the log of claims, was short staffing and skill mix.

“Ramsay is a highly profitable company and members were clear that strong profits should be matched by staffing levels that don’t cause nurses and midwives to be overstretched on flat out shifts,” he said.

“Members also said they want a fair pay increase to be on par with other leading private hospitals and to keep up with the cost of living. The campaign committee believes that a five per cent per annum pay claim is fair.”

A NSWNMA survey with a very strong statistical sample found that the key issues for Ramsay nurses and midwives were:

  • Staffing that delivers safe patient care including staffing numbers, skill mix, support for beginning practitioners and access to breaks.
  • Fair and safe rostering practices including an eight-hour break after being recalled to work, before working another shift; a heavy reliance on “on call” to complete duties; and pressure from management to swap shifts during quiet periods.
  • Reasonable access to professional development.

Brett Holmes says nurses and midwives deserve praise for their role in Ramsay Health Care’s outstanding commercial success.

“Ramsay is one of the most successful companies in Australia and critical to that success has been the high quality of care provided through the impeccable professionalism of their nurses and midwives,” he said.

“If Ramsay is to maintain its leading market position management must recognise the need to reinvest some of their profits in meeting appropriate staffing levels and paying their staff fairly.”