RETAIN. RECRUIT. RECOGNISE.

Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives

The government is not listening.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) are calling on the Government to ensure that all Tasmanians have access to enough nurses and midwives to provide safe and quality care whilst accessing the public health services in Tasmania.

In 2016 the government agreed to reassess the model of staffing for nurses in the state’s public system. This body of work has not been completed in the agreed timeframe and left Tasmanian nurses and midwives concerned about the potential risks to the community.

Information provided by the Tasmanian Health Service show that there are currently more than 250 nursing jobs vacant in the public health system in Tasmania. Combine this with the fact that by April 2019 Tasmanian Nurses will be the lowest paid in Australia* this paints a serious problem for our health system.

With the shortage of nurses and the increasing pressure due to lack of beds across the state, we are calling on your support, whether you are a nurse, midwife, care worker, politician, family member or concerned community member to help show the government that we need to stop disregarding the future of nursing in Tasmania and take action to retain, recruit and recognise these valuable community members.

*As compared to a Registered Nurse Grade 3 year 8 or equivalent.

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So, what's this all about?

The government is disregarding the future of Nursing and Midwifery in Tasmania. Despite ongoing issues with retention and recruitment across the state, the Government has refused to consider a number of improvements to nursing conditions put forward by ANMF members, that would see a considerable improvement in the working conditions of nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Tasmania.

These include some of those listed below:

  • An increase in professional development allowance to assist nurses, and midwives in maintaining their registration and safe practice.
  • Increases in allowances to nurses and midwives working in rural and remote communities to help attract staff to these locations.
  • A refusal to pay mental health nurses an allowance for working in high dependency mental health units.

As those at the forefront of the health industry the government need to start listening to our nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing who are faced with the issues of bed block, overcrowding and safe staffing on a daily basis.

To show the government that nurses are serious about protecting the nursing profession, their patients and the health care system in Tasmania, ANMF members voted to begin an industrial campaign to put pressure in the government to re-consider their strategies and solutions put forward throughout 2018 Nurses and Midwives (Tasmanian State Service) Enterprise Agreement.

From 8am on Monday 10th September 2018 nurses and midwives working in the public sector have committed to commencing industrial action in direct response to the governments refusal to negotiate an agreement that recognises the hard work of nurses and midwives in the state. 

For Nurses and Midwives

When does industrial action commence?

As of 8am on Monday 10th September 2018 ANMF nurses and midwives working in the public sector started industrial action in direct response to the Tasmanian governments lack of response during negotiations for the 2018 enterprise agreement.

Work to Rule: 

As part of their industrial action, nurses and midwives have commenced work to rule activities. You will likely find a checklist in your workplace or alternatively, download a copy here

The Work to Rule checklist is a suggested guide for ANMF members regarding industrial action that can be undertaken during the campaign. The ANMF however, note that not all wards and units will decide to, or can safely carry out these activities. The ANMF are happy to support any alternative actions that individual wards and units may choose to do as a team.

We wish to remind members that the priority at all times is ensuring patient care is not comprised. Therefore, if actions such as not answering phones or cleaning discharge beds are going to be undertaken, please ensure that your manager has rostered additional ward aides and ward clerks first. Please note that any disruption to patient flow or patients being moved out of the emergency department will impact bed block, patient care and your colleagues.

If you are having difficulty in securing the additional support staff you need to undertake your actions, please contact ANMF Member Support, you ANMF Workplace Representative or local ANMF Organiser.

Where can I read my Log of Claims?

In developing up this log of claims the ANMF Tasmanian Branch has consulted extensively with members at all public-sector sites. Our broad process of consultation revealed that the most widely and deeply felt issues were related to the recruitment of new nurses and midwives along with a need to retain the current nursing and midwifery workforce.

What about issues outstanding from 2016?

There are a number of issues that remain outstanding from the 2016 enterprise, these issues remain outstanding and under negotiation for a final resolution. These include issues around On-Call, NHpPD and Ratios, Nursing Classifications, Remote Provisions, and Modernisation of the Award and Agreement.

For Community

What is an Enterprise Agreement?

An Enterprise Agreement outlines the wages and conditions for a specific group of workers agreed upon between the employer and the employee. In 2016 ANMF member agreed to an eighteen-month enterprise agreement under the Nurses and Midwives (Tasmanian State Service) Agreement. This is has now expired and is undergoing negotiations.

What is a Log of Claims?

As part of their Enterprise Agreement process, ANMF members have put forward a set of claims. These include calls for improved working conditions, competitive pay with interstate counterparts, and safe staffing levels to name a few. All of which members believe will improve the retention, recruitment, and recognition of public sector nurses and midwives in Tasmania.

Why does safe staffing matter?

A model of staffing for nurses that ensures that all patients are allocated enough nursing time to receive safe and appropriate care whilst accessing public health services in Tasmania. ANMF and its members have been pushing since 2016 for a safe staffing model that ensures the safety of the Tasmanian of the community when accessing public health services.

What is industrial action?

To show the government that nurses are serious about protecting the nursing profession, their patients and the healthcare system in Tasmania, ANMF members voted to begin an industrial campaign to put pressure in the government to reconsider their strategies and solutions put forward throughout negotiations. This action will commence at 8am on Monday 10th September 2018, it will not negatively affect patients but it does mean that some activities that nurses perform as 'goodwill' will be removed such as making beds and working overtime.

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