Nurses let Premier know their feelings

About 40 nurses and midwives gathered at the opening of the Corangamite Shire Council’s new offices which Premier Ted Baillieu opened.

COLAC and district nurses used Premier Ted Baillieu’s visit to the region to push their claim for better conditions.

About 40 nurses from Colac, Camperdown, Geelong and Warrnambool campaigned outside the opening of the Corangamite Shire Council’s new offices in Camperdown, which Mr Baillieu opened.

Colac midwife and union key member Pauline Wheeler said it was an opportunity to let the Premier know the campaign to protest nurse-to-patient ratios was continuing.

“It’s hard to ignore a sea of red,” she said.

“Let him know that we haven’t forgotten that he’s not coming to the party, that he’s not negotiating fairly, and just let him know that we haven’t forgotten that we want our ratios to stay as they are.”

Camperdown nurse Therese Skene said she wanted to let Mr Baillieu know that nurses would continue to fight to “keep our patients safe”.

“Well we hope that he realises that we are certainly not going away, we’re here to fight our EBA to look after our community,” she said.

Nurses and midwives are also calling for an 18.5-per-cent pay rise over four years, and have concerns over the potential introduction of short shifts and nursing assistants to replace registered nurses.

Ms Wheeler said nurses were considering mass resignations if conditions aren’t met.

“Organisers are coming to Colac on the 2nd of February to meet with staff to talk about the mass authorisation for resignations on behalf of nursing staff,” she said.

“I would hope it really doesn’t have to come to that, but if we lose our ratios, no one’s going to want to stay in nursing anyway, it’s a lose-lose situation if the government don’t agree to what we are proposing.”

Negotiations between the Baillieu Government and the Australian Nursing Federation resume at Fair Work Australia on Friday.

2 Responses to “Nurses let Premier know their feelings”

  1. kerri morgan

    I trained in Victoria in the early 80’s. The points that Ansje states have already happened here in QLD, having experienced exactly this situation as the only RN on the shift with 14 patients, expected to attend to emergencies, with only a PCA. The result? 7 of us resigned. Why? Because it was too bloody dangerous and guess whose job is on the line if something goes wrong? BUT wait there’s more, turn up to a shift, the DON does not want to pay for midwife to come in so let’s use the RN, but don’t worry the DON’s on call, somewhere?….Don’t let Victoria go backwards like QLD has and has been for last 20yrs. Victoria had a good reputation and highly trained nurses…One day Mr Baillieu you may end up a patient, god help you!….)

  2. Ansje Harris

    Thank you to the author of the article concerning the current state of the nurses EBA negotiations. We are made to fight for our conditions and a pay rise every 4 yrs. This time is one of the hardest , as this Govt has a secret agenda to cut $100 mill from the public sector budget. One way to do this is to reduce the number of qualified nurses and replace them with unqualified staff with 6 weeks training. These untrained staff will make up part of the ratios, eg 1RN and PCA to 8-10 patients. They say we have to increase productivity. This is quite hard to do when we deal with sick and vulnerable patients. The best laid work plans can fall apart with a single emergency situation, eg cardiac arrest, taking more time away from daily clinical care and thus making more work and delaying the required clinical treatments. We are lucky in Vic. to have an excellent health service. Please Mr. Baillieu don’t destroy it . Respect the nurses and the work they do and meet us at the negotiating table.