Tas nurses set to walk off the job again

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Nurses and midwives in Tasmania will quit their jobs en masse for the second time in two weeks as part of their continued push to improve pay and conditions.

The Australian Federation of Nurses and Midwives is holding a strike outside Launceston General Hospital for 15 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.

It comes after several hundred nurses and midwives gathered outside the Royal Hobart Hospital last week to call on the state government to urgently address dangerous staffing levels.

“It sent a very strong message to the government that enough is enough,” ANMF Secretary of State Emily Shepherd said in a statement.

The union has rejected the state government’s offer to advance negotiations for a company agreement if the strike is called off.

Prime Minister and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff, who on Friday chose not to travel to New Zealand on a trade mission so he could focus on health system challenges, urged the union to speak in good faith .

The union is looking for immediate resources, such as clinical coaches to provide support to nurses and midwives through their transition from novice to expert.

“We hope the government will come up with concrete solutions that we can offer to members and eventually reverse our strike action,” Ms Shepherd said.

The union also staged a strike outside the Hobart Repatriation Hospital last week and is planning further strikes in the North West in the coming weeks.

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