Article supplied by RFDS
Our nurses have voted over the past three days on the proposed RFDS enterprise agreement. They have been highly engaged in the ballot process with a 90% participation rate, and voted 43% in favour and 57% against.
We respect the decision of our nurses and remain committed to working in good faith with them and the union to reach an agreement as soon as we can, so that we can increase our nurses’ pay.
We offered our nurses a 13% increase over three years, backdated to 1 July 2023. We believe it’s a fair offer that compares with the rest of the healthcare sector, including Queensland Health nurses.
The increase we offered would have cost the RFDS more than $3.2 million over three years and was as much as we can afford.
As a charity, we receive critical Federal and State Government funding each year, and despite that, we run at an operational deficit. As a result, we rely on donors and fundraising to cover that gap, and we are extremely grateful to the people who support us and the critical services we provide.
Like everybody, we are also facing increased operational costs like wages, aircraft fuel, parts and equipment, and the cost of maintaining our bases and aircraft. We need to ensure we are sustainable for the communities we serve and continue to provide our services as we have done for the last 95 years.
We are incredibly grateful to our nurses who work tirelessly to provide skilled and compassionate care.