NURSES and midwives across the state plan to escalate industrial action after failing to reach an agreement on working conditions with the state government yesterday.
All major hospitals have now agreed to take industrial action, having started this week by claiming meal breaks, overtime and other entitlements.
This comes after the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Union last week rejected an amended pay offer from the state government, saying it did not address a lack of grade 4 nurses.
State secretary Neroli Ellis said base-grade nurses were expected to instead do the work of the more experienced nurses, compromising patient care.
Mrs Ellis said industrial action would escalate next week, after a ``very disappointing'' meeting with the state government yesterday.
``On Monday, in addition to the claiming of entitlements there will be ban on non-clinical paperwork, which could be things like Medicare slips, admission discharge and the patient administration system,'' Mrs Ellis said.
``There are no ward clerks after hours, so nurses have to pick up all these additional duties now.''
Mrs Ellis said nurses at each hospital would also hold meetings to consider further action next week - such as having grade 3 nurses refuse to do the work of grade 4 nurses.
Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said on Monday that negotiations had progressed further than she expected, and she was confident of a resolution.
``We are limited in terms of the amount of money that we can access, but we do want to make sure that we provide nurses with good working conditions,'' Ms O'Byrne said.