Nurses and midwives defeat wage freeze bill

29 September, 2014

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has congratulated Tasmanian nurses and midwives for defending patient safety by successfully campaigning against the State Government's attacks on public hospital health professionals.

With the Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill ordered to be suspended for one month and the Government now scrapping it completely, the ANMF is urging the Hodgman Government to work constructively with the Tasmanian Branch of the ANMF.

According to the federation, the Government needs to discuss effective ways of achieving budget savings without the need to carry out its plans to sack up to 1200 public sector workers, including nurses and midwives.

"Huge victory"

"This is a huge victory for Tasmanian nurses and midwives and we commend more than 7,000 ANMF members for standing-up to the Government and seeing this devastating Bill scrapped," Acting Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said.

"Our members in Tasmania have achieved a major win because of their tireless campaign against the Government's savage health cuts and the impact of these cuts on nurses and midwives and their ability to deliver safe patient care across the State's public hospitals.

"We are still extremely disappointed and concerned that the Government has indicated it will push on with its slash and burn approach to Tasmania's health system, by announcing that 500 public sector jobs will go.

"The Tasmanian ANMF Branch identified and shared with the Government 60 ways it could achieve cost savings in the health system without the need to sack frontline nurses and midwives and risk the safety of public hospital patients," Butler said.

"For the sake of all Tasmanians, it is imperative that the Government negotiates any changes to the state's health budget with the Tasmanian ANMF.

"The ANMF cannot and will not allow the Government to push ahead with policies which will see nurses and midwives lose their jobs and patients then receiving a decreased level of care from a diminished nursing and midwifery workforce.

"Our ANMF members in Tasmania will stay strong to defend safe patient care and will continue to fight any planned job cuts.

"The Government says it won't back down – we won't either.

"The ANMF is Australia's largest union, with over 240,000 members - and we are right behind our colleagues in Tasmania."