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ACT nurses offended by worst pay offer in 30 years

By Barcham - 29 May 2013 7

The Government has offered ACT nurses a wage increase of 2% a year, and the nurses are not very happy about it reports ABC News.

Australian Nursing Federation spokeswoman Jenny Miragaya says that is below the cost of living.

“Well this is the worst pay offer that’s been made, it doesn’t even compare with the conservative governments in the rest of Australia,” she said.

“This is the least pay offer that my nurses have been offered for well over 30 years.”

The union is pushing for a 5 per cent a year pay rise for the next four years.

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7 Responses to
ACT nurses offended by worst pay offer in 30 years
Tetranitrate 11:59 pm 29 May 13

LSWCHP said :

Having said all that, my Mum was a nurse and she was paid and treated like crap all her working life. If there’s anybody who does deserve some extra cash it’s nurses. And after them, cops and teachers. It’s astounding to me that the people who educate us, care for our health and keep us safe from goblins are so poorly compensated for their efforts

I don’t really want to go bureaucrat bashing, it’s a pretty dumb sport in this town – but I am ever astounded by the way governments in this country constantly make teachers and nurses fight just for CPI, yet never seem to do it to the office workers.

HiddenDragon 11:47 pm 29 May 13

LSWCHP said :

HiddenDragon said :

If Ross Garnaut’s latest prognostications are correct, or even broadly so:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/ending-the-great-australian-complacency-of-the-early-twenty-first-century-20130529-2na27.html

a pay increase fairly close to the CPI will, before too long, look very good.

Correct. I’ve read some of the Garnaut article, and I think he’s spot on.

As a nation, we’ve been selling dirt to foreigners and borrowing lots of money against our houses to fund extravagant lifestyles, in the expectation that foreigners will always want our dirt, house prices will always go up and people will always lend us money.

This is all coming to an end, and we are all going to be less well off in the future, and possibly for an extended period. Quality of life is not guaranteed to improve forever.

“Less well off” can be pretty damn immediate and dramatic too, for some individuals. A few years ago it took me nearly 8 months to find a couple of qualified staff who could work in my group. Now I’m receiving unsolicited applications from highly qualified and experienced people from around the country who’ve been laid off. Those people would have lifestyles commensurate with their idea of how highly paid professionals should live. Fancy cars, big houses, big TVs, kids in private school etc. Suddenly, and without much warning, they have no income, and I don’t imagine that it’s a happy time for them. And unfortunately for them, I’m not hiring.

I’m not interested in pay increases right now. I’m just really, really happy to have a job at all.

Having said all that, my Mum was a nurse and she was paid and treated like crap all her working life. If there’s anybody who does deserve some extra cash it’s nurses. And after them, cops and teachers. It’s astounding to me that the people who educate us, care for our health and keep us safe from goblins are so poorly compensated for their efforts.

We seem to be in furious agreement on this one, including your point about nurses not being the most appropriate candidates for restraint.

As a nation we were too quick to discard the concepts of restraint and trade-off inherent in the Accord, and while there was, understandably, a felt need for catch up, particularly for those at higher levels who copped flat dollar (rather than percentage) increases on many occasions, the catch-up seems to have gone on for too long and overshot somewhat.

The view from the less salubrious reaches of the private sector would very much endorse your comments about the change in the labour market – reflecting a marked fall off, if not yet a complete collapse, in trading conditions.

LSWCHP 9:22 pm 29 May 13

HiddenDragon said :

If Ross Garnaut’s latest prognostications are correct, or even broadly so:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/ending-the-great-australian-complacency-of-the-early-twenty-first-century-20130529-2na27.html

a pay increase fairly close to the CPI will, before too long, look very good.

Correct. I’ve read some of the Garnaut article, and I think he’s spot on.

As a nation, we’ve been selling dirt to foreigners and borrowing lots of money against our houses to fund extravagant lifestyles, in the expectation that foreigners will always want our dirt, house prices will always go up and people will always lend us money.

This is all coming to an end, and we are all going to be less well off in the future, and possibly for an extended period. Quality of life is not guaranteed to improve forever.

“Less well off” can be pretty damn immediate and dramatic too, for some individuals. A few years ago it took me nearly 8 months to find a couple of qualified staff who could work in my group. Now I’m receiving unsolicited applications from highly qualified and experienced people from around the country who’ve been laid off. Those people would have lifestyles commensurate with their idea of how highly paid professionals should live. Fancy cars, big houses, big TVs, kids in private school etc. Suddenly, and without much warning, they have no income, and I don’t imagine that it’s a happy time for them. And unfortunately for them, I’m not hiring.

I’m not interested in pay increases right now. I’m just really, really happy to have a job at all.

Having said all that, my Mum was a nurse and she was paid and treated like crap all her working life. If there’s anybody who does deserve some extra cash it’s nurses. And after them, cops and teachers. It’s astounding to me that the people who educate us, care for our health and keep us safe from goblins are so poorly compensated for their efforts.

JimCharles 7:21 pm 29 May 13

It’s weird how you agree pay rises for 4 years in the future based on what’s happened in the past?
How can anybody say what state the country will be in this time next year, let alone in 2017?
Even the Government got this year wrong by 18 billion.

Would they take 5% raise this year with the proviso that they might end up getting a 5% pay cut in 4 years if the figures are based on what’s affordable at the time?
In Europe, pay’s been cut in real terms by about 8% over the last 5 years while productivity has been forced up, a nasty situation if you have to go through it….but these are the people who are going to be pressing hungrily for Australian business and jobs by offering better value for the budget.
Guaranteed pay rises for 4 years if it also provides job security isn’t such a bad thing, the golden years are coming to a pause and the country needs to take a deep breath and hold it’s nerve.

SupaSal 5:11 pm 29 May 13

Clearly this show total disrespect for what us Nurses do day in and day out 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

We are being underpaid now for the crap we have to put up with, I love my job, 95% of the time, except when i get punched, kicked, spat on, bitten, verbally abused, not just by patients but their family and friends.

Once the government pays us our true value there is always going to be a Nurse Shortage!!

HiddenDragon 2:27 pm 29 May 13

If Ross Garnaut’s latest prognostications are correct, or even broadly so:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/ending-the-great-australian-complacency-of-the-early-twenty-first-century-20130529-2na27.html

a pay increase fairly close to the CPI will, before too long, look very good.

The arrangements we have at present, certainly in the public sector, appears to be a de facto revival of the wage indexation system which existed nationally until the early 1980s (punctuated by the Salaries and Wages Pause Act), except that CPI is now typically seen as just the starting point for claims and negotiations. Wage indexation, as of right, proved to be unaffordable then, and it is increasingly clear that it is unaffordable now, and I think the Gallagher Government deserves credit for trying to introduce a note of sober reality into its handling of public sector wage claims.

Surely a more modest wage outcome (compared to the “conservative governments in the rest of Australia”) is better than the large scale job cuts carried out by those governments.

smcphill 1:52 pm 29 May 13

what’s the latest round of public service pay increases, I wonder? Probably not far off 2%… although I can understand being unhappy at an increase that’s under the current (and project) rate of inflation…

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