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To: Hon Cameron Dick, Health Minister
Mater Enterprise Agreement Negotiations for nurses and midwives
We the undersigned write to you in relation to the Enterprise Bargaining negotiations for nurses and midwives at Mater Health Services (Mater).
Even though negotiations between the Queensland Nurses’ Union of Employees (QNU) and Mater commenced 12 months ago, Mater’s full offer to its nursing staff is unknown.
We call on you as the Health Minister, to urgently intervene in this matter, to protect patient health services provided by Mater from the obvious long term consequences in terms of staff retention and quality of service. In addition, your participation is required to deliver transparency around Mater’s use of public funds and to ensure nurses and midwives are provided with a final proposed agreement that guarantees conditions that remain consistent with those in Queensland Health.
Why is this important?
Mater has made it clear that many of the current employment conditions aligned with those nurses and midwives from Queensland Health will be removed or reduced. Examples include removal of Nurse/Midwifery Unit Managers from the classification/generic level statements, restrictions around the payment of continuing Professional Development allowance, pro-rata access to Long Service Leave after 7 years and reduction of payment for working on public holidays. The proposed rate of pay for work performed on public holidays is below the Nurses Award 2010 and Nurses and Midwives (Queensland Health) Certified Agreement (EB8).
As an organisation that is funded by the State in a way that is consistent with the funding of public sector health services for the delivery of health services to Queenslanders, it is our view that Mater should preserve working conditions aligned with those of Queensland Health.
Mater nurses and midwives have not received a wage increase for almost 2 years and the organisation has refused QNU’s request to pass on a pay increase by way of an administrative increase while the negotiations are finalised. Furthermore, the organisation has threatened its nurses and midwives that if the agreement is rejected by them at ballot, the Mater will remove the back payment offer from the table.
As the Mater continues to receive funding from Queensland tax payers for the delivery of public health services, the organisation should be held accountable to pass on those taxpayer funds to the nurses and midwives providing the care.