Refusing overtime

I work in a public hospital and our department is so short staffed we are constantly being harassed to work overtime on top of the rostered shift already worked. Can we say no?

Clause 25(i) of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award sets out that an employer may require an employee to work overtime but also the circumstances to determine if any request to work overtime is unreasonable and accordingly can be refused by an employee. These grounds include: whether a risk to health and safety arises; the employee’s personal circumstances; needs of the workplace; and the notice provided by the employer of the overtime and the notice by the employee of their intention to refuse it.