Mirroring last year’s negotiations, after two meetings, NSWNMA negotiators are still waiting for a response to your claim to put patient safety first by improving and extending the ratios/nursing hours system.
Your claim seeks to include extended ratios, a reduction in the maximum consecutive shifts that can be worked and a 2.5% pay rise into the Award. It was formally served in April and NSWNMA stands ready to negotiate.
The Government has still not authorised the Ministry of Health to make any response to your claim. This means they have again failed to apply their own policy that negotiations should start no later than three months before Award expiry dates. NSWNMA is prepared to keep meeting and advocating the details of members’ claims.
It’s time for the Government to put patient safety first, to show its real commitment to a new Nurses’ and Midwives’ Award, and start meaningful negotiations on improved ratios along with a reduction in the maximum consecutive shifts that can be worked.
Our experience last year shows that it will be very difficult to achieve an agreed outcome in the six weeks left before the next pay increase is due.
As members know, the NSW Liberal Government has removed public sector unions’ rights to genuinely negotiate and it prohibits backpay of any agreed wage increases. It has steadfastly refused to accept the decisions of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and recently persuaded the NSW Court of Appeal that annual 2.5% increases should be discounted when employer superannuation contributions are increased.
In recent years, the Government has sent us a clear message – we will not genuinely negotiate for safer patient care or allow you access to the independent umpire.
Agitating in our workplaces and in our communities is our only option for effective change. Let’s get to it.
Download this PHS circular: Talks Start Government Yet To Respond