Nurses plan industrial action

NURSES across the state have unanimously endorsed industrial action against a state government wage freeze.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation yesterday held the last of four meetings at hospitals across the state, with nurses rejecting the government's anti-protest bill and plans to freeze public sector wages and cap future increases.

ANMF state secretary Neroli Ellis said nurses would take industrial action on August 25, ahead of the state budget announcement on August 28.

Mrs Ellis said nurses at each hospital were yet to determine a form of action, but it would not affect patient care.

She said the main issue was not the wage freeze, but the process by which the government was pursuing it.

"There's no other government that has legislated to override all awards and agreements in the public service," Mrs Ellis said.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said he was disappointed by the nurses' course of action.

"When given the difficult choice between a pay pause or job cuts, this government has chosen the pay pause in order to save as many public sector jobs as possible," Mr Ferguson said.

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