Nurses and Midwives Association - 949 Power FM

Illawarra Shoalhaven Nurses and Midwives rally

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A large number of nurses and midwives from the across the Illawarra Shoalhaven  will strike for up to 12 hours today with some heading to Sydney to rally outside parliament house later this morning despite an order from the Industrial Relations Commission not to proceed.

President of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Mental Heath Nurses Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Glenn Hayes said the action has been a long time coming.

"We've been trying to negotiate for things like ratios for safe patient care for a number of years now.

"Looking at the amount of work that members have been doing they've been absolutely exhausted they're sort of at the their wits end in terms of covering shifts and the workload that's been associated with our role on top of COVID.

"We just need support in terms of staffing numbers and I guess there's also been the concern that we've had our pay frozen for the last number of years and that we'd actually just like it be reinstated to what was initially agreed to which was a 2.5% annual increase," he said.

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Hayes said today's action is a last resort from members who wished they didn't have to take a stand.

"None of us want to strike.

"We want to be at work, we want to deliver the possible care that we can to the people we look after and we want to look after ourselves but we just can't do it unless we really make a stand and let people know that we're at out wits end, it is sort of a last ditch effort," Hayes said.

Some nurses and midwives will strike for between eight and 12 hours from 7am while others will walk out of wards for a couple of hours.

Hayes said there will still be nurses at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District's hospitals to care for patients.

"We've also got members that we realise can't afford to actually take time off work.

"So they're actually doing us a huge favour by covering for us and supporting us whilst they're staying on duty," he said.

Hayes said the NSW state government has been hypocritical throughout the pandemic.

"It's really hard to sort of hear that you're appreciated and you're valued and then you're actually having money taken away from your earning capacity and you're actually not supported in terms of staff numbers.

"I know a lot of the services have been trying really hard to support their staff but they're in the same boat I guess in terms of how they can operate and we'd like the government to actually come to the table and support us with that," he said.

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Today's strike has forced the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District to close its COVID-19 assessment clinics at Wollongong and Shoalhaven Hospitals.

The LHD said those needing a PCR test will need to visit a private pathology clinic.

Images: Shellharbour Hospital Branch NSWNMA and Peter Andrea

Nurses and Midwives to rally at Shoalhaven Hospital

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Nurses and midwives are furious with the NSW government, and have voted to take strike action to demand change.

And the Shoalhaven Nurses and Midwives association is taking demands straight to the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.

The Association said, "We need to show all politicians just how powerful nurses and midwives are when we stand together."

Nurses and midwives are demanding that the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet: 

  • Immediately implement a shift by shift nursing and midwifery staffing claims for safe patient care
  • - Immediately commit to a fair pay rise above 2.5% and introduce a COVID-19 allowance.
  • Withdraw the amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Act that would force workers to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work.

A rally will be held at the entrance of Shoalhaven Hospital on Scenic Drive, Nowra at 10am..

The Association said< "It wants the government listen to the needs of our health workers and our communities."

This rally will be a COVIDSafe event.

Image: Shoalhaven Nurses and Midwives Association 

Nurses to walk off the job

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Nurses and midwives at Bowral Hospital will be walking off the job for two hours on Tuesday as part of statewide industrial action.

They'll be watching an association zoom meeting being held at Town Hall.

Across the state, nurses are calling for better pay and working conditions

They're unhappy with the three per cent public sector pay increase.

Nurses and Midwives Wingecarribee Branch President Kate Paviour said they're at breaking point.

"Some days you start at 7 in the morning and you don't leave until 11 at night, to try and provide that level of care and support that patients need,

"There's a lot of us propping up the system,"Ms. Paviour said.

Image: supplied