Government Wage Theft and Staffing Cuts Crisis for Nurses and Midwives amid Vacancy Control Measures

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch have commenced consultation with nurses and midwives on industrial action on account of ongoing wage theft and unsafe staffing, along with the announcement of the vacancy control committee.

ANMF members have been grappling with the ongoing staffing crisis with over 500FTE positions vacant across the state, while not receiving pay entitlements that were registered in December last year. The announcement of the Governments vacancy control committee has led our members to breaking point, and we will support them in industrial action, said ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd

The vacancy control committee that will require Chief Executive sign-off for every position in hospitals, means that additional workload will flow to Nurses, Midwives and their frontline health colleagues when support positions are not filled. Further, the suggestion that any unfilled position for over 12 months will be abolished is incredibly distressing to members when the ANMF have been urging the Government to take drastic action to address the recruitment and retention issues in nursing and midwifery for years.

“It seems that the inaction by the Tasmanian Government to be competitive in recruiting and retaining nurses and midwives in Tasmanian in line with other states was a tactical move so that all unfilled positions could be abolished by this Government as a costing saving measure. This vacancy control committee will cost Tasmanian lives”.

‘This announcement comes after the Launceston General Hospital had 14 patients on ambulance trolleys in corridors, in addition to a full Emergency Department and waiting room, as a result of the Government Transfer of Care procedure. The Government appears to only care about achieving statistical targets with no care for the impact on patients or their burnt out and exhausted staff.

The ANMF consultation with members on industrial action will continue over the next few weeks, but no action is off the table to support our members and their efforts in providing safe and quality care.


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