NURSES and midwives will march through the Bathurst CBD on Thursday as they take strike action for the second time in six weeks.
Staff from Bathurst hospital will walk off the job at 7am for a 24-hour strike. They will gather in front of the court house at 9am for a rally.
From the court house, they will march down William Street and Howick Street, stopping at Member for Bathurst Paul Toole's office.
President of the Bathurst hospital branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA), Kathi Hamilton, said members of the public are invited to join them to show their support.
"It would be wonderful if they could come down and join us, including retired staff and anyone who would like to help us," she said.
The purpose of the strike is to send a message to the NSW Government after it failed to address the ongoing staffing crisis inside public hospitals following the last strike on February 15.
Nurses and midwives want better staff-to-patient ratios to improve safety in hospitals and a modest pay rise.
"The problems that were occurring over a month ago when we had our last strike are still occurring. Staff are still being asked to do extra shifts, overtime shifts, they are being asked to go to outreach hospitals because they can't staff their hospitals," Ms Hamilton said.
"... There's just not been any correspondence with the union in relation to our wishes."
Ms Hamilton said the decision to strike again was not an easy one to make, but nurses and midwives felt it was the only option to ensure their calls for support are heard and actioned.
"They don't do it to be vindictive or anything like that. They are doing it because they are so concerned about how the staff shortages are," she said.
Bathurst hospital's staff strike will be one of many across the state on Thursday, with most NSWNMA branches striking for 24 hours.
Others will strike for one, two, four or eight hours.
NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives were deeply distressed by the government's refusal to acknowledge the public health 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," he said.
"... 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."
Life-preserving services will be maintained on Thursday while staff strike.
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