UNION WIN: Westmead birthing unit wins reinstatement of 12-hour rosters
Westmead Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) successfully fought to overturn an unfair roster change that sought to remove the provision of 12-hour shifts, in favour of 8-hour shifts, without proper staff consultation.
A 12-hour roster had been in place in the Birthing Unit for 3 months and was due for review. However, hospital management failed to conduct a review of the roster arrangement, and opted to implement a change to 8-hour shifts.
The decision taken by management was in breach of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (state) Award which requires consultation before any decisions, and a minimum of three months’ notice of changes.
NSWNMA Westmead Hospital Branch members, with support from the Association, escalated the Award breach to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) of NSW, where the following outcome was achieved:
- 12-hour shifts are to be reinstated in Westmead birthing unit from 21 January 2024.
- Meaningful consultation with all Westmead birthing unit staff to occur, as per the Award.
- If a decision is made to review 12-hour shifts from the birthing unit, three months’ notice must be given as per the Award.
The actions of NSWNMA members at Westmead standing together to enforce their Award entitlements demonstrates the collective power of our union, and the importance of knowing your award entitlements.
If you currently have 12-hour shifts on your ward or unit, and are concerned about them being removed, contact your Branch Officials and the NSWNMA. If you’re not already a member, there’s never a better time to join and be part of NSW’s largest union. Join today.