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WA nurses to be the highest paid in Australia

By Karen Keast | Last Updated: 20-11-2013

Western Australian nurses at a recent rally

Western Australian nurses have won their fight to become the highest paid nurses in the country.

The state’s 13,000 nurses will receive a 14.7 per cent pay rise over three years, with no loss of conditions, after the government negotiated a deal with the Australian Nursing Federation’s WA Branch at the weekend.

The pay rise means a registered nurse and midwife on level 1.1, who now receives $55,617 will receive $63,770 by July, 2015, while a level 1.8 will go from $73,187 to $83,916, a senior registered nurse on level 1 will go from $90,653 to $103,943, and a level 10 will go from $138,175 to $158,431.

The deal came after nurses began cancelling one in five elective surgeries and closed up to 300 beds at Perth’s metropolitan hospitals and at Bunbury in the wake of months of failed negotiations.

The agreement has been agreed to in principle, with the union set to continue to negotiate a log of claims, including a retention bonus, reduced parking charges at some hospitals, and converting sick leave to annual leave, after the March 9 election.

The Opposition has also agreed to endorse the deal if elected to government, and has announced it will employ an extra 200 nurses as part of a $45 million bid to provide an additional 8300 elective surgeries.

Australian Nursing Federation WA Branch state secretary Mark Olson said nurses and midwives had rallied hard and deserved to be the highest paid in the country.

“The nurses and midwives of WA delivered this outcome,” he said.

“I think they should be very proud of their actions.”

Mr Olson said the pay rise would offset the high cost of living in the state, and would work to recruit and retain nurses and midwives in WA.

“Fifty per cent of our staff in our public hospitals and private hospitals come from interstate or overseas,” he said.

“We have the highest paid teachers…and highest paid allied health professionals, so our nurses and midwives should be the highest paid too.”

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