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Friday, October 26, 2007

ANF Seeks Fair Treatment for Victorian Nurses

The ANF (Federal Office) urged Premier Brumby to begin negotiating in good faith with the Victorian Branch of the ANF to end the current nursing dispute.

ANF Assistant Federal Secretary Ged Kearney said the ANF is "appalled" by the Victorian Labor Government's use of the harsh WorkChoices legislation to punish nurses.

The ANF says Mr. Brumby is aware that nurse patient ratios are the most important issue at stake in the dispute and he also knows that the AIRC cannot rule on this issue.

"This is a blatant attempt to get rid of ratios," Ms. Kearney said. "It is ratios in Victoria that have attracted so many nurses back into the public system and allowed nurses to provide a high quality of patient care. If ratios are cut, nurses will leave the profession, and the level of patient care will deteriorate. Surely the Brumby Government understands this."

Research by the University of Sydney completed earlier this month, confirms that two thirds of nurses would consider cutting their working hours or leaving the public health system or nursing altogether if nurse patient ratios were scrapped.

"The research by the Workplace Research Center at the University of Sydney revealed 73% of nurses' workload had increased every year for the past three years, compared to the 56% who were surveyed in 2003," Ms. Kearney said. "Nurse patient ratios mean that nurses can, to an extent, manage to provide safe quality care in a high pressured environment."

This dispute shows that WorkChoices is not about resolving disputes.

"The Federal ALP is campaigning against WorkChoices in this election so it must be very disappointing to see the legislation being used against nurses in Victoria," Ms. Kearney said.

The ANF, representing 150,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses and midwives in Australia.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

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