Launceston General Hospital nurses have walked off the job for the second time this month.
It comes as public sector nurses and midwives continue to seek an outcome for ongoing enterprise agreement negotiations with the state government.
On Wednesday about 40 LGH theatre nurses stopped work between 8am and 9am, with similar action planned for the Royal Hobart Hospital on Thursday.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch secretary Emily Shepherd said union members had been left with no choice.
“Our members have become increasingly frustrated with the protracted state of negotiations with still no positive outcome,” she said.
“Our members do not engage in stop work activities like these lightly.
“They believe that in taking this action, they are standing up for their own safety as well as their patients.
“Members can no longer support the Tasmanian Government’s elective surgery lists with their goodwill.
“The state needs to act to recognise nurses and midwives and make an offer that retains and recruits across the entire public health system.”
Ms Shepherd said the government’s current offer of 2 per cent would make Tasmanian nurses and midwives the lowest paid by April 2019, and 7.5 per cent below the national average.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson and Treasurer Peter Gutwein have consistently claimed the government’s offer of six per cent over three years was fair and reasonable.
Ms Shepherd said industrial action would continue into the new year.
“The public has heard about the dire state that hospitals in the Tasmanian Health System have been under recently,” she said.
“What they don’t often hear though, is that it is the nurses who work within the system that are keeping patients safe with their dedication to their profession and continuous overtime and double shifts.
“The Tasmanian Government must act now to recognise this contribution before our states valued nurses and midwives burnout and say enough is enough.”
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