Congratulations but be vigilant

NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher congratulated NSW nurses for the very public stand they have taken on Lamp.

‘Thanks for your outstanding efforts in protecting the working conditions of people in NSW,’ she said.

Reba said that it is important we recognise that Lamp is more than an industrial relations issue – it is also a health issue.
‘I have no doubt that if John Howard wins government he will insist on health funding being tied to nurses accepting AWAs.’

More nurses but challenges remain, says chief nurse
Debra Thoms, the Chief Nursing Officer, outlined the various recruitment and retention strategies employed by the Nursing and Midwifery Office to deal with the chronic nurse shortage.

She said that, while the problem of recruitment remains formidable, there have been an extra 1,600 nurses added to the system in 11 months with a small reduction in the turnover rate.

‘The challenges of the future will be the shortages in the rural and remote areas.’

Preparing for a union collective agreement to protect pay and conditions in private hospitals
Under the grasp of Lamp, private hospital nurses will be especially vulnerable when their current agreements expire next year. That’s why the NSWNA held a lunchtime forum at Annual Conference to discuss with 30 private hospital delegates the importance of preparing now for a union collective agreement to protect their pay and conditions.

Helping hand for farmers
The NSWNA Drought Relief Fund was officially launched at the conference by Graeme Eggleston, the NSW Drought Coordinator of the Department of Primary Industry (DPI).

Members are urged to donate to this worthwhile cause. Money raised by the Association will go directly to families in need to help make ends meet and provide food, as well as assisting with other initiatives of the DPI. Donations are tax deductible and can be made by mail, fax and the web.

For more information, go to www.nswnurses.asn.au and click on the Nurses’ Drought Appeal link.