Monday, March 22, 2010


NSW nurses to vote on wages proposal


March 21, 2010, 3:21 pm

NSW nurses and midwives will start voting this week on a proposed wages and conditions claim, which includes a five per cent annual pay rise over four years.

The NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA) says nurses and midwives are also asking for mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to be set to improve patient safety.

NSWNA general secretary Brett Holmes said a lot of work had been done over the last ten years rebuilding nursing as an attractive career option in financial terms and this was at risk of being lost.

"In the last couple of years nurses have again started to fall behind equivalent professions, such as the allied health professions, and if that continues we risk undoing what success we have had dealing with the nurse shortage," Mr Holmes said.

He said the majority of nurses and midwives were about $2500 per year or $50 per week behind physiotherapists.

"Our wage claim is, as well as properly rewarding the effort and dedication of nurses, aimed at keeping nursing and midwifery `up there' financially in terms of career options."

The NSWNA wants NSW Health to agree to a new four-year wages and conditions agreement, which includes a five per cent per year pay rise for all public hospital and community health nurses and midwives.

A five per cent pay rise on July 1, would provide the majority of clinical nurses and midwives with a pay rise of nearly $70 per week, Mr Holmes said.