RNs - New South Wales

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Union calls for standard patient to nurse ratio

ABC, September 20, 2010 The New South Wales Nursing Association is calling on the State Government to increase the number of nurses and introduce a nurse to patent ratio. The union says some state hospitals have as little as one nurse for every eight patients in busy morning and afternoon periods. General Secretary Brett Holmes says he wants the State Government to look to Victoria where successful nurse ratios have existed for ten years. "It's become very clear that the nurses association now needs to work to achieve a net patient ratio which is transparent, mandated and enforceable," he said. ... Union

Nurses push for nurse-to-patient ratios

Lema Samandar, Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 2010 Nurses want minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to improve the quality and safety of patient care in NSW. Brett Holmes, general secretary of the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA), on Monday said the reform had the backing of both public hospital and community healthcare nurses. If implemented, it would be the biggest reform of the NSW public health system in decades, he said. "The evidence from Victoria, California and other places with minimum nurse-to-patient ratios is now in and they work and work better than any other system," he said. ... Nurses

Campbelltown nurses claim they're 'overworked'

Michelle Taverniti, Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser, September 1, 2010 The NSW Nurses Association has met with upset nurses at Campbelltown Hospital over claims of unfair rostering and obligated overtime. The Advertiser was given exclusive information detailing issues raised at a meeting between the hospital's peri-operative nursing staff and the association in July. According to the information, matters raised included nursing staff being rostered on for eight consecutive shifts (more than allowed under their award), regularly missing tea and meal breaks, having to work past their rostered shift times in order to complete theatre lists ... Campbelltown

Gulgong nurses to appeal to Roxon

ABC, August 19, 2010 Nurses at the Gulgong Hospital are planning to write to Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon to ask for her support to build a Multi-Purpose Health Service (MPS) in the town. The NSW Nurses' Association has met with its 17 members to discuss what local job opportunities are available after the facility shuts next Friday. The western region organiser, Linda Griffiths, says some staff will transfer to Mudgee while others will hopefully work in Gulgong's primary care and the proposed emergency services. She says the nurses also want to directly appeal to the Minister to approve a MPS. ... Gulgong

Healthcare provider defends pay offer to nurses

ABC, July 13, 2010 Healthcare provider Bupa is defending its pay offer to aged care nurses in more than 20 facilities in New South Wales, including in Griffith and Tumut. The NSW Nurse's Association has criticised the offer as members prepare to vote on a new industrial agreement today and Thursday. Bupa Care Services says it is offering all employees a 4 per cent increase within the next 10 months and a wage increase of 10.5 per cent over the length of the four-year agreement. The company maintains the new agreement pays above the current wage rates and in many cases significantly above rates in the modern national award. But the Nurse's Union claims the offer will see members working for Bupa earn less than aged care nurses at most for-profit and not-for-profit facilities.

Nurses campaign for better staffing

ABC, April 20, 2010 A petition will be launched in Orange today as part of a nurse staffing campaign. The New South Wales Nurses Association wants mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in emergency departments and other health services across the state. The union says the Orange emergency department should have at least nine or 10 nurses on duty each shift but usually there are five or six during the day and three or four at night. Association organiser Linda Griffiths say nurses are getting burnt out. ... Nurses

MP urges faster nurse appointments

ABC News, April 16, 2010 There is a call for staffing decisions at the Coffs Harbour Base Hospital to be made locally and immediately. This week the New South Wales Nurses Association launched a campaign to highlight what it says is an urgent need for more nurses in the emergency department. Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser says it can take up to seven months for the North Coast Area Health Service to recruit one new nurse. He says the bureaucratic process needs to be streamlined. ... MP

Deal staves off nurses' industrial unrest

ABC News, April 15, 2010 A dispute about staffing levels at the Bathurst Base Hospital has been resolved, one day before nurses threatened to take industrial action. The New South Wales Nurses Association had raised concerns that not enough staff are being rostered on when extra beds are opened. The Bathurst Health Service has given the union a guarantee that additional beds will only be used if there are enough nurses on shift. General manager David Wright says he hopes the agreement will work for management and staff. ... Deal

Aged care nurses join pay cut fight

ABC News, April 15, 2010 Nurses working at an aged care home in Laurieton, south of Port Macquarie, are joining a class action to stop pay cuts. The New South Wales Nurses Association has lodged the action with the workplace relations tribunal Fair Work Australia. The union's general secretary, Brett Holmes, says the award pay rate for nurses is due to drop by 20 per cent in July. He says the class action is to protect the take-home pay of thousands of aged care nurses. ... Aged

Nurses rally against 'dumbing down' in NSW hospitals

AAP, July 30, 2009 Hundreds of nurses have rallied in Sydney's CBD to protest Government plans to introduce less-qualified staff to the state's hospitals. Chanting the slogan "Right nurse, right job, right place" and waving photos of workmates from around the state who could not make the rally, the nurses gathered outside ministerial offices in Sydney's Farrer Place. "We are calling on the Government to stop their plan," New South Wales Nurses Association general secretary Brett Holmes told protesters at the rally. The association wanted new nursing assistants to supplement the more qualified nurses, not to replace them, he said. ... Nurses

NSW nurses to state rally in Sydney

The Age, July 30, 2009 NSW nurses will rally outside state ministerial offices in central Sydney on Thursday to protest against a plan to introduce nursing assistants in hospitals. More than 420 delegates will be bused into the city for the rally. NSW Nurses' Association (NSWNA) general secretary Brett Holmes said the state government planned to replace registered nurses in the state's public hospitals and community health services with unlicensed nursing assistants. ... NSW

Nurses' union seeks urgent merger talks

ABC News, June 19, 2009 The nurses' union is seeking an urgent meeting with the North Coast Area Health Service over plans to amalgamate nurse management positions. The nurses' association's Susan Pearce says it is feared a number of north coast hospitals could lose individual directors of nursing and executive officers. She says it would be a massive change to management of nursing services at hospitals in Grafton, Wauchope, Port Macquarie, Tweed Heads, Lismore and Ballina. "Obviously it's not appropriate to amalgamate certain facilities depending on the complexity, the distance between them, the range of issues affecting individual sites," she said. ... Nurses

Nurses' overtime slashed in health revamp

Natasha Wallace, Sydney Morning Herald, November 12, 2008 Overtime for nurses will be dramatically cut back and casual doctors will no longer be able to name their rate under a range of measures aimed at slicing more than $943 million off the health budget over the next four years. The announcements in the mini-budget were made a day before the Australian Medical Association was expected to release a damning report showing public hospitals were operating at unsafe occupancy levels and with workforce shortages. The NSW president of the AMA, Brian Morton, said NSW would have to spend $1 billion immediately for 1000 hospital beds needed ... Nurses

South-west Sydney nurses quit health service

Macarthur Advertiser, November 12, 2008 Nurses in south-west Sydney are leaving their jobs in droves, says Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner. Quoting freedom-of-information obtained figures, Mrs Skinner said 1324 nurses quit the Sydney South West Area Health Service in the past year. She said 6700 nurses had left the NSW health system in the same time. But Health Minister John Della Bosca said the figures were “misleading” and that the State Government had recruited 1650 registered nurses and midwives this year. ... South-west

Jobs agreement secured for nursing home workers

ABC News, November 6, 2008 The nurses' association has negotiated an agreement to keep up to 50 employees from an Albion Park nursing home in their jobs in the lead up to Christmas. Staff at Daintree Aged Care recently received notice they would have to reapply for their jobs under new terms and conditions. Nurses' association spokesman Steve Hurley says the agreement was reached after the case was taken to the Industrial Relations Commission and will ensure the entitlements and conditions of the employees will be protected. ... Jobs

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