ANMF Media Release: Mersey Community Nurses Hospital Industrial Action


4 January 2019

Mersey Community Nurses Hospital Industrial Action

Media Doorstop:  ANMF Tasmanian Branch Office, 19 Brisbane St, Launceston
When:                       Today – Friday 4 January 2019
Time:                         1:30pm
Who:                          Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) members at the Mersey Community Hospital will continue their ban on elective surgeries despite pressure from the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) and Tasmanian Government to cease their action, which commenced on 1 January 2019.  ANMF on behalf of members advised the Secretary of the Department of Health on 28 November that members would ban all elective surgery from 1 January 2019, yet despite having over a month’s notice the THS Executive have not made alternative arrangements for elective surgery patients and have instead chosen to pressure tired and exhausted ANMF members to stand down their industrial action and continue with elective surgeries.

ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd today said that ‘this was just another sign of the disrespect and lack of recognition that the Tasmanian Government has shown Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives since negotiations for a replacement agreement commenced in May 2018.  This shows that ensuring the health, wellbeing and the future of the nursing and midwifery professions is not a priority for the Tasmanian Government.

ANMF members will continue their ban on elective surgeries until a competitive offer is put to Nurses and Midwives at the negotiating table which recognises their significant value and contribution to the Tasmanian Health Service and the Tasmanian Community. ANMF members will continue to assist with endoscopies, colonoscopies and any diagnostic related procedures throughout the action period as members remain resolute that their intention is not to compromise patient safety.

“Mersey Community Hospital theatre nurses are incredibly frustrated that the Tasmanian Government have not used this opportunity to reduce the wait list for scopes by booking additional patients to have these completed while the bans are in place.  Instead they have chosen to strategically pressure members to complete surgeries despite clear advice in November 2018 that they would not be undertaking elective surgical procedures as of January 1.’

ANMF members are firmly of the view that the nursing and midwifery professions must be recognised and respected both now and into the future to ensure that there are enough nurses and midwives available to meet the health needs of the Tasmanian Community, particularly in the North West.  The Tasmanian Government must understand that to be competitive with other states and territories, allowing them to recruit and retain nurses and midwives in Tasmania, they need to offer an equitable package at the negotiating table.

“The sooner the Tasmanian Government recognises that they must invest in the nursing and midwifery professions and make an offer that reflects that sentiment at the negotiating table, the sooner nurses and midwives will stand down all industrial action and return their sole focus to their main priority, which is delivery of safe and quality patient care.


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