More than 160 NSWNMA workplace branches have now notified the NSWNMA office that they will join Wednesday’s (24 July) statewide strike of nurses and midwives, to protest against the O’Farrell Government’s failure to provide guaranteed, safe nurse staffing levels in all public hospitals, public hospital clinical units and community health services and equal ratios in all hospitals around the state.
The list was current as of 7.00pm, Friday 19 July, and more branches are expected to notify the NSWNMA office of their intention to strike before Wednesday. (See full list attached and sorted by Local Health District.) On Wednesday, 24 July, striking nurses and midwives will attend a special general meeting of the NSWNMA. During the strike life-preserving services will be maintained in all hospitals and community health services.
Strike date: Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Meeting time: 11.30am – 1.00pm
Meeting venue: Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney Olympic Park
With live webcast to the following 17 regional centres: Albury, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Goulburn, Grafton, Griffith, Kempsey, Lismore, Merimbula, Nowra, Orange, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Tamworth, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga
(Full venue details will be provided before Wednesday.)
NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said the first round of enforceable, minimum nurse-to-patient ratios was introduced into general medical and surgical wards in most NSW hospitals as part of the 2010-11 award negotiated between the NSWNMA and former Labor government.
“In this second round the NSWNMA wants the O’Farrell Government to build on this landmark staffing reform by extending the ratios or guaranteed minimum staffing to more clinical units, including emergency departments, children’s wards, intensive care units, community health services and smaller hospitals. We also want all hospitals to be treated equally, so that the nurse-to-patient ratios are the same in each hospital around the state.
“That means, in summary, minimum legally-enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios such as:
“These ratios, at a reasonable and affordable cost, will bring a greater level of stability and reliability to the health system and improve patient experiences and outcomes. The O’Farrell Government knows that local and international nursing research shows protecting safe nursing numbers and the RN/RM skill mix delivers better patient outcomes and reduces adverse events, which saves lives and money.
“The recent state budget confirms the state Government can afford to do this, especially as it is a priority for our society and the health system. For a few hundred million dollars a year the state Government can dramatically improve patient care in our public hospitals and community health services through this transformative policy of better matching nursing levels to patient levels. The collateral savings in other areas and the benefits to society will be significant.
“The preliminary evidence from the first round of ratios, or minimum enforceable nursing hours per patient day, confirms they have significantly eased the burden and risk in the areas that have benefited,” Mr Holmes said.
The statewide Ratios put patient safety first campaign was launched in Sydney on Tuesday, 19 March. A record 214 NSWNMA branches, representing more than 36,000 public-sector nurses and midwives throughout NSW, have endorsed the NSWNMA’s ratios and wages claim, which was then formally presented to the NSW Government, through the Health Ministry, on March 11.
Central Coast LHD
Far West LHD
Hunter New England
Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
Mid North Coast LHD
Nepean Blue Mountains LHD
Northern NSW LHD
Northern Sydney LHD
South Eastern Sydney LHD
South Western Sydney LHD
Southern NSW LHD
Sydney Children’s Hospitals
Western NSW LHD
Western Sydney LHD
Branch strike vote update 21 July 2013
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