Union bosses and Labor hurting patients

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Health

Contrary to union boss promises, yesterday’s ANMF industrial action has resulted in 6 planned, funded surgeries and procedures being cancelled, including at least one urgent case and two semi-urgent cases. These people were determined by surgeons to clinically require surgery but have been prevented.

This is totally unacceptable and Tasmanians will rightly be asking why the union bosses are trying to find ways to hurt patients as a tactic for wage outcomes.

This type of action is apparently planned to continue indefinitely twice a week, meaning their plan is for even more patients to suffer. Fortunately, most nurses are not participating in this unacceptable action, and are instead doing their job providing first class health care.

The Government has been negotiating in good faith with unions, including the ANMF, for months and a formal offer has been presented but not allowed to be voted on by members in a secret ballot.

Throughout these negotiations, the Government has remained committed to the principle that we must strike the right balance between delivering a fair and affordable pay rise for public servants, continuing to invest in additional frontline services, and ensuring our budget remains strong.

The Government has successfully employed an extra 500 FTE nurses, and funding to employ even more as we open more beds.

Labor, who have found themselves championing this industrial action that hurts patients, need to immediately condemn it and support genuine good faith negotiations. It’s so hypocritical considering they sacked hundreds of nurses and closed entire wards.

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