St Vincent’s win nurse-to-patient ratios
NSWNMA branches of St Vincent’s Private and Mater Hospitals have been in negotiations with management to secure fair pay and working conditions within the Enterprise Agreement (EA) framework for the past eight months.
The EA bargaining with management came to a halt, resulting in mass protected industrial action at both hospitals since December last year.
However, on 5 July, St Vincent’s Health Australia finally agreed to implement nurse-to-patient ratios on all shifts, in all clinical areas, from July 2024. This is a real investment in the nursing workforce across both sites.
We credit the efforts of every member who participated in this extraordinary campaign.
Member leaders presented to our executives pledges of support from over 1140 staff across both sites. Thereafter, members voted to participate in our first strike on 22 December. Most of our nursing colleagues attended. Impressively, many non-nursing colleagues also joined us. Many came on their days off, with their children and grandchildren.
It really was a momentous day. The first rally endorsed just what solidarity and unity looks and feels like.
The SVPH branch voted to participate in an Association scrub-wearing day, five consecutive lunchtime rallies and multiple stop work rallies. Nine in total.
We met with political allies and were overwhelmed by their support.
It took enormous courage for our members to stand up and seek change. To take actions that have not been taken by nurses in the private health system for decades. Now, the branches of SVPH and the Mater take enormous pride in all that our members have achieved by standing together.
Kate Westwood, RN