Friday 16th December 2005
When the reasonable workloads committee identified a shortage of nurses at Tamworth Base Hospital, management immediately committed to addressing nurse shortages.
Management at Tamworth Base Hospital have responded to nurses’ reports that they were suffering ongoing heavy workloads – after consultation with the Reasonable Workloads Committee. Management agreed to immediately recruit 10 full-time nursing positions and other measures to address nursing shortages.
Nurses at the hospital have been struggling with heavy workloads for some months, according to Vice President of the Tamworth Base Hospital branch, CNS Christine Hughes.
‘The morale of nurses is around their knees. People were very frustrated and stressed because of the relentless workload pressure.’
President of the Tamworth Base Hospital branch, CNS Gerard Jeffery, said the tool clearly identified the extent of the workloads problem at the hospital. ‘It provided evidence that staffing was seriously inadequate for the acuity levels at the hospital.
‘Management promptly commenced negotiations with the branch and the Reasonable Workloads Committee and agreed to the immediate recruitment of 10 full-time nursing positions,’ said Gerard, who is also a member of Reasonable Workloads Committee.
‘The positions will be most likely filled by ENs due to the shortage of RNs in the Tamworth area but management has committed looking at recruitment strategies to recruit a further nine full-time RNs in early 2006.
‘We are just relieved to have agreed on a resolution with management,’ he said.
‘I think it’s important to remember that even without the tool we would have been able to address the workloads problem by asserting our right to a reasonable workload under the Reasonable Workload Clause in the Award. We would achieve this by working through our Reasonable Workloads Committee,’ said Gerard.
‘Heavy workloads are the biggest issue for nurses. The Reasonable Workloads Clause is the most important feature of the Public Hospital Nurses’ Award.’