South Australian nurses and midwives will receive a 2% pay rise, retain current staffing levels and working conditions after public sector employees voted unanimously in favour of the state government’s proposed Enterprise Agreement.
More than 95% of public sector nurses and midwives supported the Agreement, which delivers a 2% pay increase each year for the next three years, backdated to 1 January, 2020.
Importantly, the deal maintains staffing levels and working conditions, including standard 10-hour night shifts should, despite government attempts to reduce the length to 9.5 hours, and guaranteed action to address workplace violence and fatigue.
“The Agreement preserves staffing levels and shift hours, against threats to undermine them, and also guarantees action to combat fatigue and violence against healthcare workers,” ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Professor Elizabeth Dabars said.
“This remarkable outcome is the result of the tremendous efforts of our members over months of sustained campaigning.”
Ms Dabars said key parts of the Agreement, such as back pay, were secured in the face of “entrenched opposition” from the government due to the united position of nurses and midwives and the branch’s hard-fought negotiations.
The new Agreement would help give nurses and midwives certainty amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, she added.
“This new Agreement gives certainty and security to nurses and midwives at a time when they most need it, given the unpredictability of the current coronavirus environment.”
South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas thanked both parties for coming to terms.
“Our nurses and midwives have been on the frontline of our COVID-19 response and deserve our thanks for their tireless work, often in trying circumstances,” he said.
“This Agreement is the culmination of months of robust negotiations and will ensure SA is well-placed to meet the ongoing health and wellbeing needs of all South Australians.”