RNs - Victoria

Sides refusing to budge in nursing dispute

ABC News, March 5, 2012 The industrial battle between Victoria's nurses and the State Government shows little sign of easing. The dispute is bogged down over the issue of nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses want one nurse for every four patients, but the Government says some flexibility is needed. Both Health Minister David Davis and Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) spokeswoman Lisa Fitzpatrick say they are willing to negotiate, but appear unwilling to budge from their current positions. "The first step the ANF needs to take is to step back from its industrial action, step back from its effectively strike action in targeted locations around the state," Mr Davis said.

Victorian nurses defy court ban to tell their stories on Facebook

Amber Jamieson, Crikey, March 5, 2012 Victorian nurses and midwives on Facebook have taken to using code names to discuss protests after the Baillieu government demanded that all comments on the Australian Nursing Federation’s (ANF) Facebook page that “organise, advise or assist” industrial action must be deleted. A letter written by lawyers acting on behalf of the Baillieu government and sent to ANF lawyers states: “We also require that you confirm in writing that, once deletions have been effected, the ANF continue to maintain its social media websites to ensure that comments of a similar nature are immediately deleted.” ... Victorian

Nurses' union give-up hope for pay rise

Sky News, March 5, 2012 The Victorian nurses' union has given up hope of winning an 18.5 per cent pay rise for its members as the dispute drags into its 118th day. Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) state secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick admitted on Monday the union had no hope of its pay demands being met. 'We don't, clearly now nine months down the track,' Ms Fitzpatrick said. She blamed the coalition government for enterprise bargaining talks dragging on for nine months when the last round of EBA negotiations under the Labor government were resolved in six days. ... Nurses

Debate over nurse ratios

Lynda McRae, Latrobe Valley Express, October 31, 2011 Latrobe Valley nurses are gearing up for enterprise negotiations amid claims of strained workplace conditions at Latrobe Regional Hospital. Concerns were raised by a number of LRH nurses last week about a system under increasing pressure over past months. According to the nurses, ratios allow for just two nurses per 25 beds on a night-shift in units including sub-acute wards, causing an inevitable compromise of patient care. But, LRH management has moved to ease any community concerns about its nurse-patient ratios and staff turnover rate. ... Debate

Emergency head quits over nurse shortage

Di Thomas, Border Mail, August 4, 2011 Wodonga hospital’s director of emergency medicine, Dr Geoff Rofe, has resigned after Albury Wodonga Health announced plans for a trial transfer of nursing staff capacity from the hospital’s emergency department to its maternity unit. Dr Rofe, who has previously headed emergency medicine at both Albury and Wodonga hospitals, has brought forward his departure date from 18 months to three months. Yesterday, he said the trial nursing staff transfer would result in fewer nurses being available in an emergency department that was already under pressure. ... Emergency

Mediation ordered over nurse-patient ratios row

ABC, June 17, 2011 The Federal Court has ordered nurses and the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service into mediation to settle a dispute about nurse-patient ratios. The Australian Nursing Federation says the hospital has continued understaffing its emergency department in breach of a Fair Work ruling in February. The union says it recently served federal court papers on the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service over the ongoing dispute. The court has ordered the mediation take place by July 22.

$1.5b for doctors, nurses and beds

Stephen McMahon & Matt Johnston, Herald Sun, November 9, 2010 Parients can expect faster treatment under Labor's plan to hire thousands of extra doctors and nurses. And Premier John Brumby said there would be a major announcement during the campaign on the thousands of extra hospital beds demanded by doctors and patients to meet growing demand in the next decade. This comes as voter anger over long hospital waiting lists and lengthy emergency department stays was growing ahead of the November 27 state election. Mr Brumby said Victorian patients would be the "big winners", with Labor promising an extra 400 doctors, 1700 nurses ... $1.5b

Vic Labor unveils $1.5 billion health plan

AAP, November 8, 2010 Victorian Labor has promised to employ an extra 2800 doctors, nurses and health professionals if re-elected in a bold bid to take the upper hand on health. The new recruits would be spread across the public hospital system, providing faster treatment for more patients under a $1.5 billion health package. The four-year package also includes $618 million to treat an extra 315,000 emergency patients and $344 million for 620,000 surgeries. It comes a day after the coalition pledged $87 million to employ more doctors and nurses, cut hospital waiting lists and improve hospital accountability. ... Vic

Nurses welcome anti-assault laws

Catherine Best, AAP, November 8, 2010 It's a cruel irony that the men and women charged with nursing Victoria's most sick and injured are among those most at risk of physical assault. To better protect Victorian health workers from violent patients and families, the Victorian government has flagged new laws to clamp down on assaults in hospitals. If re-elected, a Labor government will double the maximum penalty for assaults against doctors, nurses and other health workers. The reforms would follow similar protections introduced for police and paramedics. Victorian Premier John Brumby promised the new laws as part of a $1.5 billion health pledge, announced on Monday. ... Nurses

Nursing students win deportation reprieve

Sarah-Jane Collins, Sydney Morning Herald, August 17, 2010 International nursing students who feared they would be deported at the end of the month because of changes to nursing registration rules have won a reprieve, after a breakthrough in negotiations last week. The Australian Nurses (sic) Federation estimated that about 400 international nursing students who graduated midyear were caught by changes to registration rules that took effect on July 1, and were no longer eligible for registration. ... Nursing

Nursing students from Kerala protest in Melbourne

Deepti Sachdeva, NDTV, August 11, 2010 Melbourne - Around 300 students mainly from the state of Kerala protested in front of the Victorian Parliament house on Wednesday at 1:00 PM local time in Melbourne. The students were protesting against the new rules for nurses in Australia. Till July, before the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) was announced, the rule was that any nurse who has scored at least 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) could do a basic one-year course in nursing and get registration to work as a nurse in Australia. ... Nursing

Nurses union opposes use of unregistered staff

ABC, November 12, 2008 The nurses union says there could be state-wide ramifications if a central Victorian hospital allows unregistered hospital staff to perform some nursing duties. The Australian Nursing Federation says Bendigo Health is proposing to train staff who are not registered nurses to do some nursing work. Documents show Bendigo Health wants to pilot a health care worker role to do duties such as personal hygiene, simple feeds and bed making. Documents say Bendigo Health is experiencing an increasing demand for clinical services and a declining nursing workforce. The union's Lisa Fitzpatrick says nurses rejected a health care worker role five times at state-wide meetings last year. ... Nurses

Nurses show how to fight and win

Lenny Colton & Tom Barnes, Socialist Worker (Australia), November
16, 2007 Industrial action by Victorian nurses has defeated attempts by
the State Labor government to impose an arbitrary cap on public sector
pay. Nine days of work bans and mass meetings led to pay rises of
between 3. 8 and 6 per cent-breaking Premier Brumby's 3.25 per cent
limit-and victories that include the retention of nurse-patient ratios
and a promise to fund 300 extras nurses. ... I was elated to see how strong and
unshakable a union can be when members stick together, especially in
the face of WorkChoices and the almost constant bullying and harassment
by upper management in some of the hospitals. ... Nurses

Health workers settle

Christian Catalano, The Age, November 16, 2007 The State Government has
dodged a second round of nurses' strikes, settling an industrial
dispute with 4000 mental health workers before bed closures. More than
400 members of the Health and Community Services Union voted for a new
four-year deal yesterday that will see annual wage increases of between
3.6% and 6%. In addition, 60 mental health nurse and clinician places
will be created and the Government will set up a taskforce on
recruitment and retention issues. State HCSU secretary Lloyd Williams
said the deal would make it safer for nurses by allowing more flexible
staffing arrangements in acute mental health units. Nearly two-thirds
of psychiatric nurses claim to have been physically assaulted by a

Mental health nurses end industrial unrest

ABC Central Victoria, November 16, 2007 Victoria's mental health nurses
have halted industrial action after reaching an agreement with the
State Government on pay and conditions. Nurses from around the state
met in Melbourne yesterday after holding stop-work meets over the past
week. The Health and Community Services Union's Lloyd Williams says the
new deal will provide more staff and a pay rise of up to 6 per cent
over four years for nurses. He says staff shortages will remain
critical in the sector, but the agreement is a positive step forward.
"Mental health services will continue to be under significant
pressure," he said. "One of the real benefits of this commitment that
the Government has given us is that they are prepared to sit down and

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