After extensive negotiations, St Vincent’s and the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) have come to an historic enterprise agreement which will see nurses and midwives at the organisation’s NSW private hospitals among the highest paid in the state – public or private – as well as introducing nurse-patient ratios.
The agreement – described by the NSWNMA as “profound” and sending “a strong message” – provides for an immediate payment of $1,000 for all full-time nurses and midwives (pro rata for part-time and casual staff), and guarantees an 11 per cent pay rise over the next three years.
Nurse to patient ratios across multiple wards and clinical areas will commence introduction in July 2024.
St Vincent’s CEO, Chris Blake, said the health and aged care provider was very pleased to reach agreement.
“St Vincent’s fundamentally recognises that our nurses and midwives are the heart and soul of our organisation,” said Chris Blake.
“The negotiation was not without its challenges. Both sides had to give ground to find a common place. Ultimately, we listened to our nurses and midwives and reached an agreement that was best for them while making sure it was sustainable.
“We want to work with the NSWNMA as an active partner in promoting St Vincent’s to their members as an employer of choice. Our private hospitals have some of the best patient and safety scores in Australia. We now offer industry-leading pay and conditions.
“In a highly competitive employment market, that should stand out as a beacon to any nurse or midwife looking to a career in private hospitals. St Vincent’s is the best possible place to work.”
NSWNMA General Secretary, Shaye Candish, welcomed the historic agreement and confirmed it had been endorsed by a majority of members.
“This new agreement exemplifies our members’ resolve in advocating for nurse to patient ratios and safe midwifery staffing to ensure the best possible care for patients,” said Ms Candish.
“The outcome required robust discussions from both parties, each with the objective of valuing the nursing and midwifery contribution. We commend St Vincent’s for listening to the clinical professionals who repeatedly outlined what is necessary to reform the private hospital sector.
“Nurses and midwives at St Vincent’s private hospitals look forward to the implementation of this agreement, and the wide-ranging benefits for both patients and staff.”
Download this release: NSWNMA Enterprise Agreement joint media release