WARRNAMBOOL nurses will meet again this morning to vent their frustrations at what they say are stalling tactics by the state government.
Nanjing Night Net

More than 70 nurses and supporters gathered at the Warrnambool Base Hospital yesterday morning after plans to strike were abandoned on Tuesday night.

Yesterday Moyne Health Services nurse Carolyn Claridge said the biggest concern was the state government’s move to halve nurse-to-patient ratios.

“They want to halve the ratios, put in nursing assistants and bring in split shifts,” she said.

“I would resign, I feel that strongly about it.

“This has been going on for eight months.”

Warrnambool Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) member and South West Healthcare nurse Jenny Charles said the meeting was a chance to bring the community up to date on the state government’s delaying tactics.

She said she was overwhelmed by the response yesterday.

“I think the community, patients and nurses are showing their dismay at the procrastination,” she said. The ANF was banned by the Federal Court on Tuesday from directing, inducing or assisting nurses to stop work.

Justice Richard Tracey also ordered the union to update its members on the decision via social networking sites.

The union said it had passed on the court order to nurses but supported the continuation of the illegal action.

Nurses defying the court order risk individual fines of up to $6600, while the penalty for the union is up to $33,000.

Health Minister David Davis said a further 59 operations had been cancelled due to the industrial action, including two urgent cases.

He said the ANF was intent on harming patients and singled out ANF Victorian secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick.

“It is guerrilla-type action designed to hurt patients, designed to harm people, designed to make vulnerable people suffer and it is quite wrong,” Mr Davis told Parliament yesterday.

Ms Fitzpatrick said Victorian nurses and midwives were feeling betrayed and double-crossed by the state government and the hospitals’ association, which promised to negotiate an outcome when nurses lifted their action 95 days ago.

Today’s meeting will be held at the Warrnambool Base Hospital from 8am.

with AAP

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