NSW nurses vote in big numbers to strike on Wednesday 24 July

ratio-macquariest-rally4More 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:

  • one nurse to four patients, or a minimum average of six nursing hours per patient per day, in all general medical, surgical and acute inpatient mental health wards in every hospital throughout the state, including all country hospitals;
  • one nurse per three children in general children’s wards – about 8.5 hours per child per day.
  • one nurse to three patients in emergency departments;
  • one nurse per patient in intensive care units, including neonatal ICUs; and
  • a maximum of four hours patient contact time per nurse/midwife eight-hour shift in community health services, including most community mental health services..

“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

Branch Name

Strike Length

Central Coast Community Health Nurses 2 hours
Central Coast Mental Health Nurses 6.5 hours, Sydney, 2 hours, local rally
Gosford Hospital 6 hours, Sydney
Gosford Mental Health Unit 6 hours, Sydney
Long Jetty Continuing Care 0700-1700, Sydney
Northern Central Coast 6.5 hours for Sydney, 2 hours local

Far West LHD

Balranald District Hospital 1 hour, 1300-1400
Broken Hill Base Hospital 3 hours, 1000-1300 (Central time?)

Hunter New England

Armidale Community Health & Hospital 2 hours for Armidale mtg, 5 hours for Tamworth meeting
Barraba District Hospital 1.5 hrs, Tamworth, plus ban on non-nursing paperwork
Belmont District Hospital 0800-1600 to attend SOP, 24 hours no non-nursing duties, wear red
Boggabri Multi Purpose Service Essential services only 0800-1700
CAMHS Community Nurses Clinicians 2.5 hrs 1130-1400, attend nearest venue/rally
Child and Family Health Nursing Greater Newcastle 1 hour, local rally
Dungog Community Hospital 4 hours
Forster/Tuncurry Community Health Centre 1 hour, 11.30-1300 including lunch, local rally
Gunnedah District Hospital 4 hrs, 1000-1400, Tamworth, on duty wear red, no non-nursing duties
Hunter Area Drug & Alcohol Nurses 2 hours
Hunter Metropolitan Community Nurses 8 hours
Hunter New England Nurse Managers 1.5 hours Newcastle, 8 hours Sydney
Inverell District Hospital Already on minimum staffing – wear tshirts, badges 4+ hrs
John Hunter Hospital 8 hrs 0700-1530 shift, for Sydney, plus local rally 1115-1315
Kurri Kurri District Hospital Yes, strike
Lower Hunter Cluster Community Health Nurses 8 hours, Sydney
Maitland Hospital 8 hrs, Sydney, on duty nurses will wear red
Maitland Mental Health Unit 8 hours, Sydney
Manilla District Hospital 1.5 hours, wearing red for day, local rally
Manning (The) – Taree 6 hours, 0900-0500, Port Macquarie
Mental Health Centre Waratah 8 hours, Sydney
Morisset Hospital 6.5 hrs, from 0900, Sydney
Muswellbrook District Hospital 11 hours, Sydney
Newcastle Community Mental Health Nurses 0800-1630
Singleton District Hospital 2 hours 1330-1530, march in Singleton town centre
Tamworth Base Hospital 24 hours for Sydney, 4 hours for Tamworth
Taree Community Health Nurses Some mbrs striking, length TBD at Monday branch mtg, (?) CBD walk
Tenterfield Community Health Service 1.5 hours, having own meeting
Werris Creek District Hospital 4.5 hours, Tamworth

Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD

Bulli District Hospital 1100-1430 wrk to rule theatres, SOP 0900-?1500, other mbrs, local mtg
Coledale District Hospital 8.5 hours, 0700-1530
David Berry Hospital 3.5 hours, Nowra
Illawarra Shoalhaven Mental Health Nurses 0700-1930
Milton-Ulladulla Hospital 6 hours, Nowra
Port Kembla Hospital 8 hours Sydney, 4 hours Bomaderry
Shellharbour Public Hospital 6 hours, Sydney
Shoalhaven District Hospital 2 hours, with some members also attending Sydney
South Coast Community Nurses 8 hours, Sydney, 2 hours, local nurses
Wollongong Hospital 6.5 hours, Sydney

Mid North Coast LHD

Coffs Harbour Community Nurses 1100-1330
Coffs Harbour Hospital 1100-1330
Coffs Harbour Mental Health Nurses 1100-1330
Hastings Area Community Nurses 2 hours, Port Macquarie
Kempsey District Hospital Min 4 hours, max 24 hours
Lismore Mental Health 1100-1400, Lismore
Macksville & District Hospital 5.5 hours, 1000-1530, Coffs Harbour and Kempsey
Port Macquarie Base Hospital 24 hours, 4 hours for webcast

Murrumbidgee LHD

Albury Base Hospital 2 hours, Albury
Albury Mental Health Community Nurses 2 hours, Albury
Albury Mental Health Nurses – Nolan House 2 hours, Albury
Barham-Koondrook Memorial Hospital No non-essential paperwork for the day
Cootamundra Hospital No elective surg for day, wearing badges
Griffith Base Hospital 3 hours
Gundagai District Hospital 4 hours, Wagga Wagga
Hay Health Service 7 hours, local
Lake Cargelligo District Hospital Wearing red, placed ad in newspaper
Lockhart & District Hospital 1.5 hours
Lower Western Community Health Nurses GSAHS 8 hours depending on workload
Murrumburrah-Harden District Hospital 6 hours, 1100-1700, some members going to Wagga Wagga
Narrandera District Hospital 1.5 hrs, 1130-1300
Temora District Hospital Wear red, no non-nursing duties for the day
Tumbarumba Health Service 4 hours
Tumut District Hospital 1 hr local mtg, 1130, no non-nursing duties, paperwork, no uniforms
Wagga Wagga Base Hospital 2 hours, 1115-1315
West Wyalong Health Service 24 hours min staffing, stall in main st & will be on call, will
tag team
Young District Hospital No non-urgent calls, wearing red, 0830-1330

Nepean Blue Mountains LHD

Blue Mountains Community Nurses 8 hours, Sydney
Blue Mountains District Hospital 8 hrs, Sydney
Blue Mountains Mental Health 8 hrs, Sydney
Lithgow District Hospital 8 hours, Sydney
Nepean Hospital Penrith 9 hours, 0700-1600, Sydney
Nepean Mental Health 8 hours
Springwood Hospital 1000-1300

Northern NSW LHD

Ballina District Hospital 3 hours, Lismore
Byron Shire Community Nurses 3 hours, Lismore
Casino District Hospital 2 hrs 45 mins, Lismore
Grafton Base Hospital 3 hours, 1100-1400, Grafton
Kyogle Memorial Hospital 4 hours, Lismore
Lismore Base Hospital 1100-1330
Mullumbimby District Hospital 1030-1430, on duty nurses will wear red
Murwillumbah District Hospital 3hrs 15min 1045-1400 on duty wear red, no non-nursing duties
Tweed Heads Community Nurses 2 hours
Tweed Hospital (The) 2 hours
Tweed Valley Community Nurses 2.5 hours, 1100-1330, Tweed Heads
Urbenville Multi Purpose Service 2 hours, local off site meeting plus attending Lismore.

Northern Sydney LHD

Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital 3.5 hrs, 1030-1400, Sydney
Macquarie Hospital 3.5 hours, 1030-1400, Sydney
Manly District Hospital 4 hours, 1000-1400
Mona Vale Hospital 4 hours, Sydney
Royal North Shore Hospital 4.5 hrs, 1000-1430, Sydney
Ryde Hospital and Community Health Service 4.5 hours, 1000-1430, Sydney

South Eastern Sydney LHD

Prince of Wales Hospital 24 hours 0700 Wed – 0700 Thur, Sydney
Prince of Wales Mental Health 5 hours
Randwick/Botany Community Nurses 6 hours, Sydney
Royal Hospital For Women 4.5 hours, Sydney
St George Community Nurses 4 hours, Sydney
St George Hospital 4 hours, 1000-1400
St George Mental Health 4.5 hours, Sydney
Sutherland Hospital 6 hours, Sydney
Sutherland Hospital Mental Health Nurses 5.5 hours, Sydney

South Western Sydney LHD

Bankstown Hospital 4 hours, Sydney
Fairfield Hospital 4 hours, Sydney
Justice Health Nursing Managers Statewide Essential services only (Mbrs mainly filling in)
Liverpool Hospital 4 hours, Sydney
Macarthur 5 hours, Sydney
Macarthur Mental Health 5 hours, Sydney
Wingecarribee Health Service 1 hour, 1330-1430, local meting

Southern NSW LHD

Batemans Bay Hospital 6 hours, 0930-1530, Nowra
Bega District Hospital 4 hours
Bombala District Hospital 2 hours, 1130-1330, no uniform for day
Bourke Street Health Service 4 hours, Goulburn
Braidwood District Hospital 4 hours, Queanbeyan or Goulburn
Cooma Health Service 6 hours, Queanbeyan
Crookwell District Hospital 3 hours, 1100-1400
Eurobodalla Community Nurses 6.5 hours, Nowra
Goulburn Base Hospital 4 hours
Goulburn Mental Health 3 hours, local
Moruya District Hospital 6.5 hours, Nowra
Pambula District Hospital 1100-1500, plus wearing blue for day
Queanbeyan District Hospital 1100-1330
Yass District Hospital Will wear red, no non-nursing work for day, service restrictions

Sydney Children’s Hospitals

Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children 4 hrs, 1030-1430
Sydney Children’s Hospital 4 hours, 1030-1430, Sydney

Sydney LHD

Canterbury Hospital 6 hours, 1000-1600, Sydney
Concord Centre for Mental Health 1030-1400, Sydney
Concord Repatriation General Hospital 2 hrs 45 mins, Sydney
Inner West Community Health 1045-1330, Sydney
Justice Health Forensic Hospital 5 hours, Sydney
Justice Health Service Statewide 12 hours, 0700-1900, Sydney
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 4 hrs, 1000-1400, Sydney

Western NSW LHD

Bathurst Base Hospital 8 hours, Sydney
Blayney District Hospital 24 hours, Orange
Canowindra Memorial Hospital 3 hours, Orange
Cobar District Hospital 2.5 hrs
Coonamble District Hospital 8 hours, Dubbo
Cowra District Hospital 5.5 hours, Orange
Dubbo Base Hospital 8 hrs
Dunedoo Hospital 30 minutes, on min staffing
Far West Senior Nurses and Midwives 3 hours, Broken Hill
Forbes District Hospital 6 hours, Orange
Gilgandra District Hospital 5 hours, Dubbo meeting
Grenfell Health Service 2 hours, own meeting
Mudgee District Hospital 2 hours, own mtg in Church St, Mudgee
Nyngan District Hospital No non-urgent procedures for 4 hours
Oberon Multi-Purpose Service 1 hour, 1230-1330
Orange Base Hospital 3 hours, Orange
Walgett District Hospital 1200-1300
Wellington District Hospital 1030-1500

Western Sydney LHD

Auburn District Hospital 1000-1330, Sydney
Blacktown Hospital 4.5 hours, 1000-1430, Sydney
Cumberland Hospital 4 hours
Justice Health Mental Health Silverwater Complex MHSU 2.5 hours, Sydney
Justice Health Mulawa 3.5 hours, Sydney
Mount Druitt Hospital 4 hours, 1000-1400
Sydney West Community Mental Health Nurses 4 hours, 1000-1400
Western Sydney Community Nurses 8 hours
Westmead and Parramatta Hospitals 6 hours, Sydney

Branch strike vote update 21 July 2013

Join over 75,000 nurses and midwives in NSW by becoming a valued member today.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation