ANMF Media Release: Theatre Nurses Walk off the Job Tomorrow


18 December 2018 

Media Release: Theatre nurses escalate industrial action and walk off the job for the second time this month


Where: Launceston General Hospital, Main Entrance on Charles Street
When: TOMORROW, 8.00am with event running to 9.00am
Who: ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd and ANMF nursing members

Nurses in theatres around the state will walk off the job this week for the second time this month. This is part of escalated industrial action directed at the Tasmanian Government. Public sector nurses and midwives continue to seek an outcome for their enterprise agreement following months of failed negotiations. To date, no serious offer has been received.

Nurses working in theatre at the Launceston General Hospital will stop work between 8am and 9 am tomorrow, with those at the Royal Hobart Hospital taking the same action on Thursday 20th December.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) are disappointed that such action has had to be undertaken. “However, we have been left with little choice by the Tasmanian Government. Our members have become increasingly frustrated with the protracted  state of negotiations with still no positive outcome,” said ANMF Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd.

“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,” said Ms Shepherd.

“The public has heard about the dire state that hospitals in the Tasmanian Health System have been under recently. 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,” said Ms Shepherd.

For tomorrows stop work, ANMF members will be gathering at the Launceston General Hospital main entrance on Charles Street between 8am and 9am. Between 20 to 40 members are expected to attend this event to talk to the public about the ongoing campaign for better conditions for nurses and midwives in the state.

“It is important that the public know the implications of the Tasmanian Government not offering nurses and midwives in the state a competitive package. We already see our specialty areas finding it difficult to attract trained nursing and midwifery staff and having to regularly use overtime or agency nurses to cover staffing shortfalls,” said Ms Shepherd.

The current pay offer of 2% will see nurses and midwives in Tasmania as the lowest paid by April 2019, and they will be 7.5% behind the national average.  The considerable pay difference between states means it is difficult to recruit and retain nurses in the public health system.

A doorstop media event will be held at the Launceston General Hospital tomorrow at 8am but media are also invited to attend the Hobart event on Thursday 20th December between 8am and 9am on the corner of Liverpool and Argyle Streets.

“These events will continue into the new year, or until the Tasmanian Government offer a fair and reasonable deal for our members,” said Ms Shepherd.


Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021