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Issue #1537      29 February 2012

Vic nurses’ rolling stoppages

ANF statement

Given the failure of the Baillieu government to allow our dispute to be fully resolved by Fair Work Australia, the following Hospitals will commence daily rolling stoppages of up to 4 hours on the morning shift, and up to four hours on the afternoon shift: Austin Hospital, Bendigo Hospital (including Anne Caudle Centre), Monash Medical Centre (Clayton).

Victorian nurses and supporting trade unionists rally at Parliament House in Melbourne last year.

Rolling Stoppages continue

Up to 1,500 nurses and midwives have continued or commenced with the stoppages (Monday) at the following facilities: Royal Melbourne Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, Western Hospital Footscray, Geelong Hospital, The Northern Hospital, Frankston Hospital, Ballarat Hospital, Maroondah Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital.

These daily stoppages will continue indefinitely, and additional hospitals will be joined to the action on each day that the dispute remains unresolved. Night shift staffing levels are to be maintained at all times.

The exact duration, starting and finishing times of the stoppages will be determined by the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) Job Reps at each hospital, as will any exempt areas.

Baillieu’s world

These stoppages represent what the ANF is being asked to agree to, as confirmed by Baillieu government negotiators on December 15, 2011.

This was also reported in the Herald Sun on February 22: The document, seen by the Herald Sun, outlines the circumstances under which the government wants to win the right to override nurse-to-patient ratios, including where hospitals are struggling for money or staff.

The official plan, which was presented as a secret proposal by the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association during confidential Fair Work Australia hearings with the ANF, also calls for nursing assistants to be used as an alternative to fully trained staff to meet the ratios.

Details of the proposal emerged at the same time Health Minister David Davis wrote an open letter to the state’s nurses saying he did not want to abolish nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses and Midwives Hardship Fund and community support

The ANF (Victorian Branch) advises that the Nurses and Midwives Hardship Fund has received, and is continuing to receive, many donations from members of the Victorian community who respect the work that nurses and midwives do, and respect the commitment and sacrifice that members are making to ensure Victoria retains a high quality public health system.

Many nurses and midwives face having their pay docked for participating in the stoppages. Nurses, midwives and mental health nurses who are not directly involved in the stoppages are encouraged to donate to the Hardship Fund. You can do so by:

EFT payment: Account name: ANF (Vic Branch) Victorian Nurses Welfare & Hardship Fund BSB: 083 266 Account No: 859680424
* Donating online at using a paypal account
* Dropping into ANF offices at Level 5, ANF House, 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne (across from the Vic Market), or
* By cheque or credit card by downloading the form at
Cheques should be made payable to ‘ANF (Vic Branch) Victorian Nurses Welfare & Hardship Fund’ and mailed to: Box 12600 A’Beckett Street PO, Melbourne Vic 8006  

Next article – Gonski review supports greater public school funding

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