ANMF (Vic Branch) has successfully pushed back against an attempt by Western Health to downgrade classifications of a number of clinical nurse consultant members.
The classification downgrades would have occurred as part of a Western Health project to reclassify approximately 100 staff, most of them clinical nurse consultants. The clinical nurse consultants work in a range of areas, including sub-acute and non-acute pathway assessment, continence, stroke, wound management and palliative care. They work across all campuses of Western Health.
About 20 members sought our assistance to dispute proposed downgrades. After negotiations with Western Health did not resolve the dispute, the ANMF lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission. Other clinical nurse consultant members then sought ANMF’s assistance in understanding whether they were correctly classified.
Conciliation conferences, including two on-site, were held with Fair Work Commissioner Anna Lee Cribb with members outlining to the commissioner their role and functions.
ANMF then made submissions about the application of the classification framework within the 2016 public sector agreement, applying the clinical nurse consultant classification descriptors to individual nurses’ roles to confirm which gradings applied.
This resulted in a reversal of the proposed downgrades, and some clinical nurse consultants being graded at a higher level. Those who were reclassified at higher grades received up to six years’ backpay – together with corrections to superannuation, annual leave and long service leave.
In total ANMF members at Western Health received approximately $85,000 backpay.