Ramsay Health Care nurses not happy with their pay offer

Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association are not happy with Ramsay’s pay offer.

NURSES and midwives employed by Ramsay Health Care have refused the company’s 2024 pay offer.

This is the first time the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has campaigned for a ‘no’ vote in negotiations with Ramsay in NSW and secured the majority outcome.

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Ramsay Health Care operates two facilities on the Coffs Coast: Baringa Private Hospital and Ramsay Surgical Centre Coffs Harbour.

A Coffs Harbour nurse, wishing to remain anonymous, contacted News Of The Area telling of her working environment as a “tough gig”.

“We work our tails off and then get a pay offer that doesn’t keep up with the cost of living; there’s also issues on accrued leave, overtime, safe working conditions,” she said.

“A lot of nurses are afraid to speak up.

“We feel bullied by this offer.”

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association General Secretary Shaye Candish told NOTA, “More than 3,500 nurses and midwives (81 percent) employed by Ramsay Health Care have voted against the company’s proposed enterprise agreement.

“Nurses and midwives voted ‘no’ to reject Ramsay’s unfair pay offer and refusal to negotiate on safe staffing and ratios.

“Following the resounding result, Ramsay has since offered nurses and midwives an interim pay increase of 6.5 percent from 1 July 2024, which combines the 2023 (3.25 percent) and 2024 (3.25 percent) pay offers Ramsay proposed before the vote, however it does not include back pay to 1 July 2023.

“Despite this interim pay rise, Ramsay nurses and midwives’ pay in NSW will still fall below their public health system counterparts from 1 July this year and will be up to twelve percent less than Ramsay staff in Queensland.”

The last pay increase for Ramsay nurses and midwives based in NSW was 1.5 percent in July 2022.

“Negotiations between the NSWNMA and Ramsay Health Care are continuing on pay, back pay and other elements of the enterprise agreement including our claim for improvements to safe staffing and ratios,” Candish said.

Ramsay is yet to clarify important entitlements such as annual leave accrual and on-call allowances.

NSWNMA members are also hoping to safeguard existing conditions including the ability to accrue time off in lieu and accrued days off.

“NSWNMA members have not ruled out taking protected industrial action, should Ramsay management fail to make significant improvements to their offer on the all-important issues of staffing and pay,” Candish said.

A spokesperson from Ramsay Health Care told NOTA, “Our proposal to our nurses and midwives included wage increases, more flexibility, greater control and other benefits.

“We believed these improvements to be fair and were in line with the recent offer made to nurses and midwives in NSW’s public sector.

“Nevertheless, we respect the decision of our people who voted not to accept the new agreement in its current form.

“This means we are now in the process of reviewing how we can make adjustments to earn a ‘yes’ vote from our nurses and midwives in the future.

“In the meantime, we have decided to pass on a total wage increase of 6.5 percent to our nurses and midwives, payable from July 2024, so that we can put money in their pockets while we continue to negotiate in good faith with the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association.”

Ramsay will provide updates to its team members when there is further information to share.

“Negotiating fair wages and conditions requires balancing our deep appreciation for the important roles our nurses and midwives play with the long-term sustainability of the company, at a time when the private health care industry is facing significant financial challenges,” the Ramsay spokesperson said.

“When negotiating new agreements, we are always focused on offering wages that are competitive with those of other organisations in that same state.

“Excellent health care is not just a numbers game – it’s about expertise, skills and experience rather than ratios.

“We need to make sure we have the right staff with the right skills at the right time to ensure all patients receive the expert care they need.

“This skills mix needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted to get the balance right and our excellent patient safety indicators are evidence that our team-based nursing model of care works.”


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