TASMANIAN nurses are ``very likely'' to take industrial action over attempts to change their working conditions, according to Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Neroli Ellis.
After about six weeks of negotiations with the state government, the ANMF has agreed to a 2 per cent wage increase.
But Mrs Ellis said about 190 nurses in Hobart and Launceston have unanimously voted to reject the offer over an unacceptable reduction in conditions.
She said such conditions included mandatory rostering of annual leave, the removal of 11.5 public holidays a year, and reducing eight-hour shifts to six-hour shifts.
``For every nurse in this state to lose about five days of public holiday leave is significant, and that week of salary they're losing equates to [the salary rise] they're offering, the 2 per cent,'' Mrs Ellis said.
She said if the government did not present an acceptable offer by October 18, nurses would take industrial action on October 21.
``Nurses are really propping up the system at the moment on good will, so all they have to do is remove that good will and start claiming their award entitlements,'' Mrs Ellis said.
``That's claiming for missed meal breaks, claiming overtime, claiming for what is rightly theirs.''
Health Department workplace relations and safety director Matthew Double said industrial bans weren't necessary, as issues could be resolved as part of normal negotiations.
Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said she was pleased nurses had agreed on the 2 per cent pay rise, with every other issue on the table being ``ultimately resolvable''.
The Health and Community Sector Union, which represents mental health and community nurses and some acute care nurses, has not put the deal to a vote yet.