NURSES and midwives from Bathurst hospital are set to strike for a full 24 hours next week as calls for better staff ratios continue to go unanswered.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) announced on Friday night that staff across the state had agreed to strike again after the NSW government failed to address the ongoing staffing crisis inside public hospitals.
The government is also yet to commit commit to further talks on workplace improvements, the NSWNMA said.
The strike will occur on Thursday, March 31.
While some branches of the association will only strike for one, two, four or eight hours, Bathurst hospital nurses and midwives have committed to the full 24-hour strike, starting at 7am.
During the last strike, staff in Bathurst only walked off the job for four hours.
They held a rally in Machattie Park, which was attended by other emergency services as well, and marched down to Member for Bathurst Paul Toole's office.
NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives were deeply distressed by the government's refusal to acknowledge the public health system crisis.
"In the past five weeks there have been multiple 'code yellow' incidents across the state, which signals an internal staffing emergency inside a health facility. These are becoming more frequent across metropolitan and regional sites because of the staffing issues," Mr Holmes said.
"We've had ongoing reports of nurses and midwives working double shifts and increased amounts of overtime, gaps in staffing rosters going unfilled for weeks, vacant positions being left unfilled for months, as well as daily text messages begging staff to pick up extra shifts.
"Our members are scathing of the government's unwillingness to continue an open dialogue with us about their claim for shift by shift nurse-to-patient ratios, improved maternity staffing and a modest pay rise."
During the strike action next Thursday life-preserving services will be maintained in all public hospitals and health services.
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