Bathurst and Tamworth campaign for improved ratios

NSWNMA members at Bathurst and Tamworth today launch their local campaigns for a new Public Health System Nurses & Midwives (State) Award.

The statewide Ratios: Put patient safety first! campaign was launched in Sydney on Tuesday, 19 March. Local launches will be held around the state over the next few weeks. The campaign’s first regional launches were held this week at Katoomba-Blue Mountains and Muswellbrook-Upper Hunter.

A record 214 NSWNMA branches, representing more than 30,000 public-sector nurses and midwives throughout NSW, have endorsed the NSWNMA’s ratios and wages claim, which was then formally presented to the State Government, through the Health Ministry, on March 11. The current Public Health System Nurses & Midwives (State) Award expires on June 30 this year.

A key feature of the 2013 claim is guaranteed, safer nursing levels for seriously ill children, emergency departments, high dependency units and rural hospitals and multipurpose services, and safer nursing and midwifery staffing arrangements in community health services.

The claim also includes two 2.5 percent per year payrises, which will provide the majority of experienced, full-time nurses and midwives with a payrise of more than $70.00 per week, or more than $3800.00 per year, by July 2014.

Ratios: Put patient safety first!

Tomorrow’s campaign launch details

Date: Friday, 22 March 2013


Time: 10.00am – 10.30am

Venue: Footpath outside Heritage Building, Howick Street. Bathurst

NSWNMA speakers

Brett Holmes, NSWNMA General Secretary

Tatiana Muller, NSWNMA Bathurst branch president

Cathy O’Neill, NSWNMA Bathurst branch secretary


Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Venue: Outside Tamworth Hospital, Dean Street, Tamworth

NSWNMA speaker

Judith Kiejda, NSWNMA Assistant Secretary

NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives working under the first round of compulsory, minimum ratios are clear they have provided a safer clinical and less stressed working environment.

“The challenge for the O’Farrell Government is to build on this and ensure every public patient in NSW, including in regional areas such as Bathurst and Tamworth, has access to the same level of safer care.

“There is no doubt mandated minimum staffing arrangements protect safe staffing levels. Staffing levels can be assessed against a mandated minimum requirement, which means we can act decisively when governments and hospital managers try to undermine safe staffing just to save a bit of money.

“That is why we must get mandated minimum staffing arrangements extended to seriously ill children, emergency departments, high dependency units, rural hospitals, multipurpose services and community health services.

“The O’Farrell Government is very willing to take credit every time a new batch of nurses or midwives is employed to fill the new positions created by the first round of ratios, which were actually agreed between the NSWNMA and previous Labor government.

“It will be interesting to see how it reacts now that it has a chance to act in its own right and extend this reform into other important areas such as children’s wards, emergency departments, high dependency units, rural facilities and community health services. Hopefully it will heed the strong message being sent by the State’s nurses and midwives and do the right thing, without the need for an extended campaign,” Mr Holmes said.

Contact details
Brett Holmes
Ph: 02 8595 1234