Healthscope members are united
CME Julie Goss shares her thoughts on being part of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s bargaining team at Healthscope.
I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of the NSWNMA bargaining team for our new Healthscope Agreement.
The bargaining process was delayed due to COVID-19, but after a few months of stasis, Healthscope decided to take their revised EBA to their nurses and midwives for a vote.
It was important for us to get a NO vote, as Healthscope was offering us nothing. We needed to win so we could get back to bargaining and get Healthscope to LISTEN to our real needs.
Healthscope worked hard to promote their agreement by telling staff how lucky they were with their new wage rise, and as a bonus if we voted Yes, we would be back paid our 1 per cent to last July. They started with lovely posters showing public hospital wage tiers and our comparisons.
However, we were ready to fight back.
We spoke with our staff and asked how they were feeling. We explained that Healthscope had not been listening to our claims and concerns, including staffing issues, lack of meal breaks and the amount of overtime worked.
As the vote came to a head, hospital executives were telling staff that if they voted against the proposal, they would get nothing. However, we countered that a successful NO vote would give us more power and we would be going back to bargaining.
Our NO vote won! This was exciting and it showed Healthscope that we are a united team across all NSW hospitals. We proved that they needed to listen to their nurses and midwives, be more flexible and give us a safer, happier working environment.
Healthscope, let’s get back to bargaining so you can fix our issues!