The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has held talks with the NSW government today over the need for staffing improvements and better pay for nurses and midwives.
Off the back of last Thursday’s second statewide strike, the NSWNMA met with Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Finance Minister Damien Tudehope to discuss the widespread staffing crisis gripping the public health system.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, welcomed the discussions and reiterated the need for the NSW government to address short staffing issues throughout metropolitan and regional health facilities.
“We had the opportunity to discuss the dire staffing crisis in our public hospitals, as well as the extraordinary lengths nurses and midwives are having to go to maintaining health services,” said Mr Holmes.
“There is an awareness by government that we need more nurses and midwives to deliver safe patient care and how unsustainable the current working conditions are, particularly for the future.
“We appreciate the pandemic has created challenges for the health system, but it has exposed a myriad of issues, including the need for our nursing and midwifery workforce to be enhanced beyond its normal annual growth.
“It took a huge amount of courage for our members to participate in last week’s 24-hour statewide strike. They were angry their ongoing pleas for help and support had been ignored.
“We look forward to continuing meaningful discussions with the government to address the issues our members have raised repeatedly.”
Mr Holmes said the NSWNMA would continue campaigning for shift by shift nurse-to-patient ratios, better maternity staffing, improvements in regional health services and fair pay.
Meanwhile, the NSWNMA has been summonsed to the Supreme Court next week for breaching orders issued by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission in relation to strike actions held on 15 February and 31 March.
The NSWNMA maintains the recent industrial actions were necessary to advocate for safe patient care and for the wellbeing of a burnout nursing and midwifery workforce across NSW.