The Structure of Bargaining in Public Hospitals in Three Australian States

  • Mark Bray
  • Pauline Stanton
  • Nadine White
  • Eileen Willis


This chapter concerns employment relations in the public hospitals of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The main aim of the chapter is to describe and then compare trends in the structure of bargaining in the public hospitals of three Australian states; the ‘structure of bargaining’ being defined as ‘the institutionalized arrangements by which employers and employees determine the terms and conditions of the employment relationship’ (Bray and Waring, 1998). In this context, the focus is mostly on union-management relations and collective bargaining, but at the same time there is a broader subject because these collective forms of regulation in which employees are represented by unions operate alongside individual bargaining, managerial prerogative and state regulation to determine the conditions of employment of public hospital workers.


Public Hospital Industrial Relation Union Membership Public Health Sector Labor Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alford, J. and O’Neil, D. (eds) (1994) The Contract State: Public Management and the Kennett Government (Melbourne: Centre for Applied Social Research Deakin University).Google Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001) Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Catalogue 6310.0 (Canberra: Australian Government Printer).Google Scholar
  3. Australian Industrial Relations Commission (1999) Nurses’ (South Australian Private Sector) Enterprise Agreement 1999 (Adelaide: Commonwealth Government Printer).Google Scholar
  4. Australian Industrial Relations Commission (2001) Nurses’ (South Australian Public Sector) Enterprise Agreement 2001 (Adelaide: Commonwealth Government Printer).Google Scholar
  5. Australian Industrial Relations Commission (2004) Nurses’ (South Australian Public Sector) Enterprise Agreement 2001 (Adelaide: Commonwealth Government Printer).Google Scholar
  6. Australian Nursing Federation (2003) Time to Reflect: The ANF Federal Secretary’s End of Term Report 1999–2003, ANF Home Page {Online} (Accessed 20th October 2004).Google Scholar
  7. Bartram, T. and Stanton, P. (2004) ‘How to Make your Union Grow: The Case of the Victorian Branch of the ANF’ New Economies: New Industrial RelationsVolume 1, pp. 42–52, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, 3rd-6th February 2004 (Queensland).Google Scholar
  8. Bray, M. and White, N. (2002) ‘A System under Pressure: Industrial Relations in New South Wales Public Hospitals’, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, June 27, 2, pp. 193–220.Google Scholar
  9. Bray, M., and Waring, P. (1998) ‘The Rhetoric and Reality of Bargaining Structures under the Howard Government’ Labour and Industry, December, 9(2), pp. 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brooker, J. (1997) An Evaluation of Casemix Funding in South Australia 1994–95 (Adelaide: Casemix Development Program; Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services and the South Australian Health Commission).Google Scholar
  11. Community and Public Sector Union (1997) Workplace Relations Act-Section 89A List of Allowable Award Matters {Online} allow20htlm (Accessed November 2nd 2002).Google Scholar
  12. Considine, G. and Buchanan, J. (1999) The Hidden Costs of Understaffing: An Analysis of Contemporary Nurses’ Working Conditions in Victoria (Sydney: Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training University of Sydney).Google Scholar
  13. Creighton, B. and Stewart, A. (2000) Labour Law: An Introduction (Sydney: The Federation Press).Google Scholar
  14. Djoneff, A. (1999) Industrial Relations Briefing 26th February (Melbourne: Monash Medical Centre).Google Scholar
  15. Ferlie, E., Ashburner, L. and Fitzgerald, L. (1995) ‘Corporate Governance and the Public Sector: Some Issues and Evidence from the NHS’ Public Administration, 73(3), pp. 375–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fox, C. (1991) Enough is Enough: The 1986 Victorian Nurses Strike (Sydney: University of New South Wales).Google Scholar
  17. Fox, C. (1998) ‘Collective Bargaining and Essential Services: The Australian Case’, The Journal of Industrial Relations, June, 40(2), pp. 277–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gardner, P. (1995) ‘High Court Rejects Award Challenge’ Australian Nursing Journal May 2(10), p. 12.Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, A. (1993) ‘Budget Strain — the Pressure Increases’, Victorian Hospitals’ Association Report, April, no. 90.Google Scholar
  20. Kelly, D. (1990) ‘Defining the ‘Workplace’ in Workplace Industrial Relations’, ACIRRT Working Paper No. 4, July (University of Sydney).Google Scholar
  21. Lin, V. and Duckett, S. (1997) ‘Structural Interests and Organisational Dimensions of System Reform’ in H. Gardner (ed.) Health Policy in Australia (Melbourne: Oxford University Press) pp. 46–62.Google Scholar
  22. Liquor, Hospitality & Miscellaneous Union (2004) Home Page. {Online} (Accessed 29th October 2004).Google Scholar
  23. Menadue, J. (2003) Better Choices, Better Health: Final Report of the Generational Health Review (Adelaide: Department of Human Services).Google Scholar
  24. MHPB (1995) Developing Melbourne’s Hospital Network: Phase 1 Report (Melbourne: Metropolitan Hospitals Planning Board).Google Scholar
  25. New South Wales Health Council (2000) A Better Health System for New South Wales (Sydney: NSW Government).Google Scholar
  26. New South Wales Health Department (1998) Annual Report 1997/98 (Sydney: New South Wales Health Department).Google Scholar
  27. New South Wales Minister for Industrial Relations, John Hannaford (1993) New Public Sector Wage Policy for NSW, Press Release 5 April 1993 (ref 033/92).Google Scholar
  28. O’Donnell, M. (1994) ‘Up the Garden Path? Enterprise Bargaining and Decentralisation in the New South Wales Public Sector’ in D. Morgan (ed.) Dimensions of Enterprise Bargaining and Organizational Relations (UNSW Studies in Australian Industrial Relations) pp. 203–217.Google Scholar
  29. Perkins, R., Barnett, P. and Powell, M. (2000) ‘Corporate Governance of Public Health Services: Lessons from New Zealand from the State Sector’ Australian Health Review, 23(1), pp. 9–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Public Health System Heads of Agreement (1994) Collective Agreement.Google Scholar
  31. Ronfeldt, P. and McCallum, R. (eds) (1995) Enterprise Bargaining: Trade Unions and the Law (Sydney: The Federation Press).Google Scholar
  32. South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) (2004) Home Page {Online} (Accessed 29th October 2004).Google Scholar
  33. Stanton, P. (2002a) ‘Managing the Healthcare Workforce: Cost Reduction or Innovation’ Australian Health Review, 25(4), pp. 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stanton, P. (2002b) Changing Employment Relationships in Victorian Public Hospitals: The Kennett Years 1992–1999, Unpublished PhD thesis (La Trobe University, School of Public Health).Google Scholar
  35. Stoelwinder, J. and Viney, R. (2000), ‘A Tale of Two States: New South Wales and Victoria’ in A. Bloom (ed.) Health Reform in Australia and New Zealand (Sydney: Oxford University Press) pp. 201–222.Google Scholar
  36. Teicher, J. and Van Gramberg, B. (1998) ‘Industrial Relations and Public Sector Reform: The Victorian Case’ Australian Journal of Public Administration, 57(20), pp. 60–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. VHIA (1997) ‘“New” Enterprise Bargaining’ Journal of the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association, 3(1), p. 3.Google Scholar
  38. Waring P. and Bray M. (2003) ‘Human Resource Management and the Individualisation of the Employment Relationship’ in R. Weisner and B. Millett (eds) Human Resource Management: Challenges and Future Directions (Sydney: Jacaranda Wiley) pp. 117–34.Google Scholar
  39. Weekes, K., Peterson, C. and Stanton, P. (2001) ‘Stress and the Workplace: the Medical Scientists’ Experience’ Labour and Industry, 11(3), pp. 95–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. White, N. and Bray, M. (2003) ‘The Changing Role of Nurse Unit Managers: A Case of Work Intensification?’, Labour & Industry, 14(2), December, pp. 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Willis, E. (2002) ‘Enterprise Bargaining and Work Intensification: An Atypical Case Study from the South Australian Public Hospital Sector’, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, June, 27(2), pp. 221–232.Google Scholar
  42. Willis, E. (2004) Accelerating Control Unpublished PhD Thesis (University of Adelaide, Department of Social Inquiry).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Contributors 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Bray
  • Pauline Stanton
  • Nadine White
  • Eileen Willis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations