SA moves to protect nurses from WorkChoices

News

SA moves to protect nurses from WorkChoices

The South Australian Government is moving to protect its public health system nurses from the federal WorkChoices legislation, and will introduce legislation at the next sitting of Parliament.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The South Australian Government is moving to protect its public health system nurses from the federal WorkChoices legislation, and will introduce legislation at the next sitting of Parliament.

'This action will mean that our nurses don't get caught up in the nightmarish WorkChoices web,' Health Minister John Hill said. 'Any future agreements affecting health employees will be made in the State Commission, not the federal jurisdiction.'

Hill said that under WorkChoices, award conditions such as overtime, penalty rates and shift allowances run the risk of being negotiated away.

'Nurses and midwives and all other health employees are right to be concerned about how the industrial relations reforms will affect their awards,' he said.

Remove uncertainty

'The State Government's proposed changes remove uncertainty about our nurses' employment conditions and future.'

The move came as new figures released by the State Government show South Australia had attracted an extra 1836 nurses to the public health system over the past four years - with 487 nurses recruited in the past 12 months. There are now a record 12,940 nurses in the public health system.

Hill said South Australia offered conditions for nursing that were competitive with other states.

'Our wages are on par, or better than other states, and of course the cost of living in South Australia is lower than most other states and territories,' he said.

Pay increase

Hill said nurses and midwives would soon receive the final incremental increase of the current three-year enterprise bargaining agreement.

'The State Government gave nurses and midwives a 16.5% incremental pay increase in 2004, with final 5% increase due in October this year,' he said. 'Nurses have also welcomed the introduction of 10 hour night duty shifts, which allow for overlap during shift changes, meaning nurses have more time to hand over their patients and duties to the new shift.'

The current SA Nurses/Midwives Enterprise Agreement expires in June 2007, and negotiations on the next agreement will start early next year.

Related

Overseas doctors and nurses flooding into SA

Unions cheer NSW IR moves, employers say they add to confusion

NSW Govt smashes first crack in Howard's IR laws



  

 

Post details