Home | Industry & Reform | Pay deal long way off: Vic nurses

Pay deal long way off: Vic nurses

Victorian ANF says it’s concerned by government proposals to abolish nurse patient ratios.

Victoria's nurses say they are still a long way from reaching a pay deal with the state government.

Victoria's police officers are in line for a pay rise almost double the government's wages policy, opening the door for similar salary increases for public servants, nurses and teachers.

Australian Nursing Federation Victorian branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said while the police deal is a positive sign, the government doesn't appear to be committed to reaching an agreement with nurses.

"We're really getting to the point where we're wondering if they're really serious about negotiating an outcome at all, given that we've got an expiry date of less than seven days," Fitzpatrick told AAP.

The current enterprise bargaining agreement is up next Tuesday and a mass meeting of ANF members is scheduled three days later, when the result of a ballot on protected industrial action will be announced.

The union has asked for an offer to take to members, but Fitzpatrick said negotiations went backwards at the last meeting when the government finally proposed its starting point for a deal.

She said the union was particularly concerned about proposals to abolish nurse patient ratios, replace nurses with health assistants and cut nurses' hours by introducing four-hour and split shifts.

"We're a long way off an agreement," she said.

Fitzpatrick said historically nurses had been offered the same sort of pay deal as police and teachers, but the issues of workloads and improving nurse-patient ratios were just as critical.

Nurses are seeking an 18.5 per cent pay increase over three years and eight months.

It's believed police will be offered a pay rise of around 19 per cent over four years, which will include different incremental increases every six months.

This is almost double the government's repeated rhetoric that its public sector wages policy is 2.5 per cent annual pay rises, plus bankable productivity savings.


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