Nurses and midwives marched down Macquarie Street today defying the ruling by the Industrial Relations Commission not to strike. NSW nurses and Midwives association general secretary Brett Holmes, saying they were unable to comply with the orders handed down by the IRC. Nurses are demanding a 2.5% pay rise as well as mandated staff to patient ratios. They are sick of hearing the government declare that the system is coping, rather, they are understaffed and exhausted.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association argue the Perrottet government need only look to other states to see the benefits of staff-to-patient ratios. In 2001 Victoria legislated a minimum of one nurse to four patients while the Queensland government endorsed a minimum of one nurse to four patients on morning and afternoon shifts and one nurse to to seven patients for night shifts in 2016.
Nurses argue that the mandates mean fewer complications, better patient safety and less staff absentees. Treasurer of NSW Matt Kean has confirmed he will negotiate conditions in a way that is in everyone’s interest, however, nursing staff are under no false pretenses that the road ahead will be long and hard and if things don’t change, health care will be non-existent ten years from now.