After five months of negotiations, changes to senior nursing positions throughout Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) are set to occur over the coming months, under a proposed restructure of operations.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has been involved in the negotiations on behalf of members, from Griffith in the north to Corowa in the south, with a priority to preserve as many nursing positions as possible across MLHD.
Acting General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Judith Kiejda, said the entire process had been an enormous drain on senior nursing staff, whose job security had remained in a state of limbo as the talks progressed.
“It was clear from the beginning the proposed organisational restructure by MLHD management had been prompted by budget-driven decisions and, despite several proposals being drafted and re-drafted, changes would occur across the region with or without our input,” Ms Kiejda said.
“On behalf of our local members, we lobbied MLHD management to retain frontline clinical nursing positions wherever possible, to ensure the delivery of safe patient care throughout all communities in the Murrumbidgee region.”
Under the most recent proposed restructure, MLHD will proceed with a downgrading of certain senior nursing positions, such as nurse managers, which will result in some job losses and a streamlining of other nurse unit manager positions across multiple sites.
“Whilst it’s disappointing we haven’t been able to protect all nursing positions throughout the Murrumbidgee, we have achieved a much better outcome than was originally proposed by LHD management,” said Ms Kiejda.
“We have been fortunate to maintain open channels of communication with MLHD management throughout this process and keep our members well informed.
“Yes, nursing staff who have worked for many years throughout the Murrumbidgee are deeply disappointed the operational restructure is going ahead – that is completely understandable – but we have ensured that local nurses continue to be overseen by senior nursing staff and opportunities for progression in their roles will continue to exist into the future.”
The NSWNMA will continue to update all members throughout the region as MLHD management finalises its proposed organisational restructure.
The NSWNMA has also confirmed it will monitor the changes that are implemented and seek a review in a further three to six months to ensure there are no implications to patient or staff safety.
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