After a tough fight with the Health Department, Enrolled Nurses and Assistants in Nursing have won a 5 per cent pay rise, effective immediately.
After weeks of hard work and meetings with both the Health Department and the Industrial Relations Commission, members were told they had won the pay rise on October 7, the final deadline for the decision.
Peter, a Carer at Karlarra House in Port Hedland, said he and his colleagues were very happy that EN’s and AiN’s had won the pay rise.
“Last time when I was on the support workers negotiations committee we were only awarded a raise of 4.5 per cent and it took almost four months of negotiations,” he said.
“I am much happier with the result this time around.”
Mandy, an Enrolled Nurse at Rockingham General Hospital, said the pay rise would benefit her greatly.
“With the rising cost of day to day living this pay rise will be very useful,” she said.
“It’s just getting harder and harder to live off of the existing household budget and there seems to be less left over each pay day.”
Spurred on by the pay rise win, members are continuing to push for better and safer workplaces by continuing to negotiate for a 21 per cent pay rise over the next three years and by submitting a log of claims to the Health Department.
The log of claims submitted includes asking for fairer rosters, better counselling services to be made available to staff members and more time to be made available for online study and training.
Mandy said that it had been incredibly difficult for members to meet and negotiate with the Health Department, as in her personal case they originally claimed she could not legally be represented by United Voice as she was being paid under the Australian Nurses Federation award.
It took weeks of fighting with Mandy having to find past pay slips and documents to prove that she was being paid as an Advanced Skilled Enrolled Nurse.
“That was just a pure delaying tactic being used by the Health Department,” said Mandy.
“Actions like these really don’t instil confidence in you when you are forced to sit at a negotiating table with these people.”
Mandy said they were eventually forced to make a complaint to the Industrial Relations Commission who told the Health Department to negotiate with the bargaining committee.
Brian, a mental health nurse from Graylands Hospital, says he joined the bargaining committee as he felt mental health nurses needed to be represented.
“Due to the number of problems at Graylands Hospital I just believe the best way to get through those is by working through these negotiations and improving our lives with better conditions,” he said.
“For me it’s more than just the pay rise.
“It’s more about the conditions we can negotiate, making sure we have the right staffing and making sure we have recognition for our service.”
Mandy said everyone involved in the bargaining job had been doing a wonderful job and urged United Voice members not to be scared about getting vocal about changing the conditions in their workplace.
“Don’t be scared and don’t be intimidated,” she said.
“Just come prepared to voice your concerns and always use examples and facts you can back up.
“The facts always speak louder than anything else.”