WA Premier Mark McGowan blasts striking nurses

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WA Premier Mark McGowan blasted the nurses who decided to strike on Friday, calling their actions illegal and urging them to stay on the job.

Thousands of nurses are striking outside state parliament over wages and conditions, despite the Industrial Relations Commission’s extraordinary decision to ban any company from transporting striking workers who are believed to be at work.

In the WA regional town of Collie on Friday, the premier said: ‘I just urge nurses to stay on the job today.

“I don’t understand why this industrial action is taking place against orders from the Industrial Relations Board,” Mr McGowan said.

He said the IRC was “completely independent” from the government.

“It’s illegal activity. I’m just urging them to step aside; take the government’s very good offer, which is better than most states,” Mr McGowan said.

He said the offer offered workers a pay rise, with nurse-to-patient ratios met and requested allowances added.

“They are breaking the law, the union, by doing this.”

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Camera iconNurses protesting outside WA Parliament on Friday want better pay and conditions. Twitter Credit: Provided
WA Premier Mark McGowan said nurses protesting in Perth on Friday were engaging in
Camera iconWA Premier Mark McGowan said nurses protesting in Perth on Friday were engaging in “illegal and criminal activities”. NCA NewsWire/Philip Gostelow Credit: NCA NewsWire

Mr McGowan said the strike was “illegal and criminal activity”.

Australian Nurses Union boss Janet Reah told Perth radio station 6PR on Friday morning that it would be the government, not the nurses, who would have blood on their hands.

Ms Reah said WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson called her on Friday morning and asked her to call off the strike.

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