NSWNMA delegates have responded with a resounding no to the Government's "offer" for the 2013 Award.
Over 200 members of the NSWNMA Committee of Delegates met on Tuesday and after considering the General Secretary's comprehensive report, confirmed that the lack of any offer on ratios is totally unacceptable.
After waiting two months and extensively advocating for patient safety, at stalls, rallies and community action in suburbs and towns around NSW - the Government has responded with disrespect to nurses, midwives and communities.
The delegates have called on the General Secretary to now "conduct a broad ranging campaign of media awareness, political lobbying, co-ordination of campaign activities by NSWNMA Branches and any other action necessary, including paid media advertising utilising NursePower campaign funds, to achieve an acceptable offer for Branches to consider".
They also demanded that the Government provide an acceptable pay and nurse to patient ratios offer to the Association by no later than Thursday 30 May.
Local MPs must take responsibility
Only a changed position by Government will change this "non offer" on improving and extending ratios. The Government includes more than 80 MPs from the Liberal and National parties and those local MPs need to understand that it is their responsibility to advocate for safer patient care for their constituents.
It is not good enough for these MPs to be telling nurses and midwives that "your Award is not my decision, talk to your Association" or that "negotiations are underway".
There is no negotiation underway. The Government's law changes in 2011 removed members' right to genuine negotiation through their union and removed the ‘independent umpire' role of the Industrial Commission.
Instead, the Government has delivered a "take or leave it" pay offer - hoping that our profession will go quiet on the need to improve patient safety.
Things to do now
Local events to step up the pressure on MPs will be happening next week. Contact NSWNMA Branch Officials to find out what's happening near your facility.
Every Coalition MP must be held to account for their Government's brazen rejection of our claim for ratios. Each MP should be reporting to their local nurses and midwives by 30 May about what they are personally doing to change their Government's position on our claim.