At least three elective surgeries have been cancelled at Launceston General Hospital this week, as the result of escalating industrial action by union members.
This week LGH theatre nurses resolved to ban overtime as part of an ongoing enterprise agreement campaign.
The move follows similar industrial action at the Royal Hobart Hospital last month, where for two weeks elective theatre cases that would have run overtime were cancelled.
ANMF Tasmania branch secretary Emily Shepherd said the ban resulted in up to 10 patient surgeries not going ahead in Hobart, with three elective surgeries already cancelled this week at LGH.
“This is about recognising the worth of our theatre nurses and the risks to recruitment if we don’t offer competitive wages,” she said.
In other news:
Union members have rejected the government’s proposed 2 per cent wage rise for public service workers, claiming it will make Tasmanian nurses the lowest paid in Australia by 2019.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the community had the right to question why the union was linking “much-needed patients surgeries to the government’s wages policy”, while Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government would continue to negotiate in “good faith” with public sector staff.
The ANMF first launched industrial action in March, calling on the government to address a lack of inpatient beds, bed blocking and associated risks they claim are putting patient and staff safety at risk.
Mr Ferguson has consistently expressed his disappointment with the ongoing industrial action, maintaining the government is doing everything it can to boost health services in the north.
Similar industrial action is planned for the state’s North-West in the coming weeks.
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