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3 min read

Case Win: NT Public Sector Nurses and Midwives' Enterprise Agreement 2022-2026

NPAA Helps Negotiate a 3% Pay Increase for NT Nurses

In the realm of healthcare, nurses play a pivotal yet often overlooked role in ensuring patient well-being. In Australia's Northern Territory (NT), the Nurses Professional Association of Australia (NPAA) navigated a challenging negotiation process for the NTPS Nurses and Midwives 2022-2026 Enterprise Agreement.

It all began when the NT state government initiated negotiations for the NTPS Nurses and Midwives 2022 - 2026 Enterprise Agreement. The initial proposal was for a heart-wrenching 0% pay increase for nurses. Instead of a fair wage hike, the government suggested lump sum payments as a substitute, setting off alarm bells for NPAA members. 

The NPAA, a formidable force advocating for the rights and welfare of nurses, understood that nurses deserved more than empty promises and symbolic gestures.

For many nurses, the prospect of a 0% pay increase was not just disappointing; it was a potential financial catastrophe. Nurses often face long hours, emotional turmoil, and physical exhaustion. A fair wage increase was not a luxury but a necessity to ensure the livelihoods of themselves and their families.

Amidst mounting pressure, the NT state government finally relented. Their offer of essentially a 0% pay increase crumbled, making way for negotiation and compromise. The government, after realising the importance of nurses and their vital role in healthcare, agreed to a 3% pay increase each year for the duration of the agreement.

However, the victory did not end with the pay increase. The NPAA, driven by a commitment to secure the best possible conditions for its members, negotiated further improvements in the agreement.

On-Call Payment Rates: One of the crucial aspects addressed during negotiations was the on-call payment rates for nurses. Recognising the sacrifices nurses make when they are on-call, the NPAA successfully negotiated for higher on-call payment rates. This change not only reflected the value of nurses' time and dedication but also ensured that nurses could maintain a work-life balance.

Attraction and Retention Bonus: Remote nursing comes with unique challenges, including isolation and limited resources. The NPAA's negotiations secured an "attraction and retention" bonus for remote nurses, acknowledging the hardships they endure while providing essential healthcare services in remote areas. This bonus not only acknowledged their dedication but also aimed to make remote nursing a more viable and attractive career option.

Pay Increments: The NPAA left no stone unturned in advocating for its members. They secured additional pay increments for all nursing classifications, ensuring that nurses at every stage of their career were recognised and rewarded for their commitment and expertise.

Strengthened Entitlements: The negotiations also led to the inclusion and strengthening of various entitlements in the agreement. These changes ensured that nurses had access to the support and benefits they deserved, further enhancing their job security and well-being.

The achievements of the NPAA in negotiating this agreement were not just a win for nurses in the Northern Territory but a testament to the power of collective action and unwavering determination. It showcased that when nurses, their professional association, and the community come together, they can overcome even the most daunting challenges.

This victory wasn't just about pay increases and bonuses; it was about respect, recognition, and fairness. It was a statement that nurses are not just employees; they are caregivers, advocates, and pillars of the healthcare system.

The journey of the NPAA in negotiating for nurses in the Northern Territory serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when passionate individuals unite for a common cause. 

Link to Agreement

How is the NPAA so effective in defending members during workplace issues and disputes? Our experienced and professional case managers use our unique RED™ case resolution system.

Why is the NPAA different? We believe that real change in healthcare STARTS with empowering frontline nurses, not bureaucrats. 

If you are a member of NPAA and need assistance with EBA negotiations or a grievance, please submit an EBA Representation Request Form on your dashboard, or contact us at eba@redunion.com.au

To find out more about NPAA and become protected today visit: npaa.redunion.com.au/join