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Adam backs Victorian Nurses

Speeches in Parliament
Adam Bandt 29 Feb 2012

Right now nurses in my electorate of Melbourne and across the state of Victoria are being forced lift to work bans they have put in place at a number of hospitals.

The decision of Fair Work Australia to order the lifting of the bans again highlights the disadvantage of state employees, such as nurses, because they work in an essential service.

Nurses, midwives and mental health nurses save lives and care for people.

They do not put on work bans without good reason rather they are doing so because of the refusal of the Baillieu and hospital administrations to genuinely bargain about issues central to the safety and effectiveness of our health and hospital system.

For example:

Improved nurse patient ratios in areas such as palliative care, emergency department, residential aged care, rehabilitation and geriatric evaluation management units. In many cases they are asking for just one extra nurse per shift.

The introduction of ratios in day surgery, dialysis, day oncology and stroke beds. These areas have limited minimum nursing numbers.

Minimum mental health nurse patient profiles in inpatient, residential and high dependency unit. Mental health has no mandated minimum nursing numbers.

Mr Speaker, I currently have a bill before the Parliament that seeks to redress this imbalance and enable essential service workers to have all issues in their bargaining resolved. 

I hope the government and other members will support my bill because we should respect the work that nurses, midwives and mental health nurses do.

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