NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes said union members at DADHC had made it clear their highest priority in award negotiations was achieving parity with public hospital rates.
'Keeping DADHC rates close to public system rates is absolutely essential so that DADHC can continue to attract nurses in competition with public and private hospitals, and there can be no argument for trying to introduce non-nursing classifications into the large residential centres.'
Maurice, a delegate to the NSWNA DADHC log of claims committee, said the award negotiations were conducted in a difficult environment, with State Government policy requiring all public sector workers to accept offsets for any pay increase above 2.5% per year.
This grading should have taken place nearly five years ago, when DADHC agreed upon an appropriate process in July 2004.
'The NSWNA has achieved what can only be called an outstanding result for members in the Grading of RUNMs at DADHC,' said Jeff.
Another important aspect of the win is that DADHC will now only be able to rotate RUNMs within positions that receive the same level of pay.
All DADHC EENs should have received their increase from October this year, backdated to 1 July 2007.
DADHC had previously been struggling to recruit and retain EENs who had been expected to perform higher duties with no remuneration for the increased responsibility.
Though the new rates of pay still lag slightly behind the public hospital award rate, it was widely welcomed by DADHC EENs.
Lynne Lucas has been nursing with DADHC for 17 years and was one of the first ENs to attain her medication endorsement in 2006.