12 May 2020
Today, as we celebrate International Nurses Day and 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale, we wanted to share some important news about your Public Sector Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
After months of protracted negotiations with the Marshall State Government, the Council met last night (11 May) to consider members’ preferences on the recent proposals provided. They determined, in line with the unanimous decision of the Worksite Representative Committee, and the largest share of members survey responses, to conclude an in-principle agreement which includes:
- A 2 per cent wage increase each year for three consecutive years backdated from 1 Jan 2020;
- The preservation of existing working conditions, including
- The retention of a 10-hour night shift;
- No forced redundancies; and
- No capping of staff levels.
The proposal also includes an assurance that SA Health will commit to early implementation of violence and fatigue policies throughout the health system – both of which have been key issues for members and which led to campaign action in 2019 across the state.
You have clearly indicated that the people in your care come first, making the majority of the membership reluctant to take industrial action that could impact on the quality of the care you provide. This reluctance is understandably heightened in the current COVID-19 environment.
You have demonstrated that retaining the working conditions you have secured following years of campaigning remains your top priority.
Achieving a 2 per cent wage increase, for three consecutive years, is a significant achievement especially when some states and the Commonwealth are moving to freeze wage levels.
You should also feel proud that through your efforts, despite earlier claims made by SA Health CEO Chris McGowan that no backpay would be paid, you will in fact receive backpay of this 2 per cent increase from January 1, 2020.
The in-principle agreement is subject to the full Enterprise Bargaining Agreement being drafted and a ballot conducted of public sector nurses and midwives.
Thank you all sincerely for all your work over the last year that has meant we have been able to succeed with our efforts to protect existing standards of employment.
We will continue to provide you with further updates in the coming days.