Canberra's nurses reached agreement on a new pay deal with the ACT government. Photo: Joe Armao
Canberra's nurses reached agreement on a new pay deal with the ACT government on Tuesday, avoiding threatened industrial action and further negotiations.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT Branch welcomed the four-year deal which includes a 2 per cent pay rise from July 1, 2013, increases in allowances and night duty loadings.
Accepted by members at a previously scheduled meeting in Woden, the agreement also provides a flat rate increase for less experienced nurses and a percentage rise for their senior colleagues.
Branch secretary Jenny Miragaya said the ''11th-hour offer'' meant no industrial action was required.
''Members had been waiting for an offer that was fair, and would not be contingent on cuts to current conditions, so they would not have to pursue industrial action,'' she said.
''The ANMF ACT is pleased that the ACT government has decided to build on the existing pay and entitlements of nurses and midwives in the ACT without exploring potential job losses.''
Both parties are expected to work together to finalise the agreement in the coming weeks, before it is voted on and lodged with the Fair Work Commission.
In August the federation sent out protected action ballots to nurses, and advised them to vote in favour of several stages of industrial action, to culminate in a strike.
Community and Public Sector Union ACT regional director Vince McDevitt said the union's negotiations with the ACT government would continue on Wednesday.
''We anticipate receiving a formal written offer that is more in keeping with the expectations of our members,'' he said.
''We are hopeful to be in a position to put that to them by the end of the week.''
In June, public servants rejected the government's first revised wage offer of 2 per cent. Reacting angrily to the offer, public service unions argued the proposal only offered a better deal to public servants earning less than $77,000.