St John of God workers in Geraldton and across WA consider strike as pay dispute continues
Enrolled nurses and support workers at St John of God hospitals across WA, including Geraldton, are considering going on strike as a dispute of pay continues between the employer and union continues.
An application was made by the United Workers Union to the Fair Work Commission for a protected action ballot order, which if approved, would be followed by a vote by UWU members on several potential industrial actions, including a strike.
Brant Softley, senior UWU organiser, said the UWU would attempt to negotiate with St John of God while their voting process, which is expected to take several weeks, continues.
“We’re awaiting a hearing with St John of God to have a mediation, to have a roundtable discussion on where this may end,” he said.
Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE
Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW
The UWU and St John of God have been negotiating over pay increases since their previous agreement ended in June 2022, with the union calling for a 5 per cent yearly increase while St John of God are offering 3 per cent, which the union says does not meet inflation.
“If St John of God are going to be dogmatic and not move, when then our members will vote up the protected action ballot, and then there may be the possibility of some strike action,” Mr Softley said.
There are about 30 workers at St John of God Geraldton who are members of the UWU, according Mr Softley.
St John of God Health Care group director workforce Carla Bonev said the group was aware of the application, but believed there was still time for further negotiations and a desire to find a mutually agreeable outcome with the UWU.
“Our employees tell us they highly value workplace benefits such as training and development, generous salary packaging, flexible work options and a comprehensive employee assistance program and we will continue to focus on improving these areas as part of our overall offering,” she said.
“We value our workforce highly and seek to remunerate our people competitively with reference to market rates and to provide attractive terms and conditions.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails