COLAC nurses and midwives are considering their futures in the industry as a dispute with the State Government rolls on.
Australian Nursing Federation secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said nursing union members across Victoria were considering resigning from full-time roles and working on a casual basis because “they don’t want to be required to deliver substandard services to the community”.
The union’s latest action comes after almost six months of disputes with the State Government over wages and nurse-to-patient ratios.
The ANF says the government wants to sacrifice skilled nurses and midwives for cheaper “health assistance”.
Mrs Fitzpatrick said nurses who were considering resigning sent confidential letters to the union.
“It indicates that a nurse or midwife is considering resigning from permanent employment,” Mrs Fitzpatrick
“They don’t want to risk their registration or end up before the Coroner’s Court as a result of a mistake being made with a patient because of Mr Baillieu’s plan to replace them with health assistance,” she said.
Colac midwife and union key member Pauline Wheeler said Colac nurses were standing firm.
“The majority of us aren’t prepared to work under the conditions that the government is proposing,” Ms Wheeler said.
“We’re prepared to leave the pay as it is but we’re not prepared to lose our ratios and work split shifts,” she said.
Ms Wheeler said the dispute might force Colac nurses to consider resigning.
She said the government wasn’t convinced nurses would leave their professions.
“Talking to a few members yesterday, I think the general consensus is that they think the government will call the bluff and say ‘prove it’,” she said.
Ms Wheeler said the ANF would start taking the letters of intent to resign to the government from today if there was still no resolution.