Queensland Health pay deal rewards nurses for their patience

Nurses and midwives in Queensland’s public health system are about to be the best paid in Australia after securing a new pay deal from the Queensland Government.

Nov 10, 2022, updated Nov 10, 2022
Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union secretary Beth Mohle. (Photo: ABC)

Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union secretary Beth Mohle. (Photo: ABC)

The new pay scale is expected to be in the bank accounts of Queensland’s 55,000 public nurses and midwives within weeks, after members of the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) voted overwhelmingly to accept the government’s revised wage agreement.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) secretary Beth Mohle has described the offer as the sector’s “most significant pay rise in the country”.

Following months of enterprise bargaining negotiations, nurses and midwives at Queensland Health facilities will receive a four per cent wage increase backdated to April 2022 for the first year of the agreement, four per cent for the second year and three per cent for the third year.

Also included in the offer is a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payment that will fund the difference between the inflation rate at the end of the March quarter each year, and the wage increase for each year, up to a maximum of three per cent a year.

Sunday penalty rates will increase to double time, from one-and three-quarter time, while annual leave will not be deducted on public holidays.

Nurses and midwives will have the right to refuse unreasonable overtime, and fatigue leave will be available for remote on-call staff. The sector’s mental health allowance will also be extended to more nurses.

The offer from the government comes in the wake of the Covid pandemic that has strained Queensland Health resources and placed added pressure on a looming global nursing workforce shortage that will require fierce competition for overseas trained workers in the next decade.

“This is a significant and much deserved win for Queensland’s nurses and midwives who have given their all during Covid-19 and every day,” Mohle said.

“Queensland’s public sector nurses and midwives are an incredible force, providing quality care in extremely challenging circumstances throughout the state. They deserve the real change reflected in this ground-breaking agreement.”

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