Nurses and midwives vow to continue ratios campaign

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Almost 5000 nurses and midwives met at Sydney Olympic Park and 17 regional webcast venues today in a defiant strike protest at the NSW Government’s refusal to negotiate improvements to the successful nursing hours/ratios system.

Many more nurses and midwives also struck in remote towns, with local rallies and activities in support of the NSWNMA claim. Almost 3000 members rallied at Sydney Olympic Park and the meeting was streamed live to 2000 members at the regional webcast venues.

Over 180 NSWNMA Branches voted to take the strike action today.

5000 nurses and midwives

180 Branches striking

18 web-linked meetings

Callers to radio stations across NSW are supporting nurses’ last resort strike to highlight the need for improved patient safety through nurse to patient ratios.

Community and workplace activities will escalate

The Special General Meeting of Members decided to escalate the community and workplace actions. The first step includes reaching a goal of 100,000 signatures on the current Ratios Put Patient Safety First petition by mid-September.

The full resolution unanimously approved at the meetings is reprinted overleaf.

In NSWNMA membership surveys you have consistently told us that improving the ratios system to put patients first is your number one priority. A pay rise capped by the Government and made without any proper negotiation will not deter you from advocating for your patients and your profession.

Congratulations to all who participated in today’s strong message to Government and the

Ministry of Health.

Nurses and midwives have spoken for safe patient care and we will not stop.

RESOLUTION

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERSHIP SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK AND 17 REGIONAL VENUES 24 JULY, 2013

“This Special General Meeting resolves that:

Public health system nurses and midwives will escalate their community and workplace campaign to convince the NSW Government that the nursing hours/ratios system should be extended to more clinical areas, and improved to guarantee the same minimum nursing levels in all hospitals in NSW.

Our campaign will continue with activities including: continued pressure on our MPs; building local community, professional and public sector advocacy coalitions; bed closures and service restrictions where needed to ensure safe patient care; and standing together to uphold the correct implementation and maintenance of ratios in wards/units where they currently exist.

The NSW Government can prove its support for patients by giving NSWNMA an acceptable offer to improve and extend the Award-based nursing hours/ratios system. Anything less is a sign that the Government is out of touch with the people of NSW who rely on a safe level of care in their Public Health System.

We commit to continuing to advocate for our profession and our patients through our community and workplace campaign.

We will do this until we have extended the system to more nursing specialties like paediatrics, emergency departments, community, critical care and additional areas of mental health care.

We will do this until we have improved the ratios system to fix problems with patient specials and the ‘midnight census’ calculation…

We will do this until we have extended the ratios system so that patients have the same level of nursing care no matter what their hospital size or postcode…

Each of us here today commit to continuing our involvement in activities and building community support. Our next step will include working with our Branches to collect 100,000 petition signatures for presentation for an action on 17 September.”

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