News State Tasmania Patient care ‘won’t suffer’ if Tassie nurses strike

Patient care ‘won’t suffer’ if Tassie nurses strike

Tasmanian nurses and midwives have voted to stop doing unpaid administration work
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The union representing Tasmania’s nurses and midwives says planned industrial action will put pressure on the system without affecting patient care.

Members of the Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANF) oppose the State Government’s plan to save $50 million a year and prevent job cuts by freezing public sector wages for a year and limiting future increases.

The federation’s secretary, Neroli Ellis, said members voted yesterday to “remove goodwill” and stop doing unpaid administration work in hospitals from August 25.

“In the form of non-nursing duties, answering phones, organising computer entries etcetera out of hours when there’s no support services,” she said.

Ms Ellis said the government may have to hire more administration staff.

“Oh, they’re going to have massive impacts,” she said.

“If you take the goodwill of nurses and midwives out of the system, it will put a lot of pressure on the system, particularly around the admin, computer entries, computerised admission systems, etcetera, so potentially they may have to employ more admin staff after hours.”

After the wage freeze, the Government wants to limit annual pay increases to 2 per cent to reduce the need for job cuts.

The Tasmanian Government said it was disappointed the federation had decided to take industrial action.

The State Opposition said the Government over-promised at this year’s state election.

The budget will be handed down at the end of the month.