Nurses unite for fairer conditions

The public face of more than 21,000 nurses and midwives visited Port Lincoln Hospital last week to commend the campaigning efforts of local nursing and midwifery staff and provide an update on renewed Public Sector Enterprise Bargaining discussions.

Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars said nurses and midwives across the state should be proud of the industrial stand they have taken to shine a spotlight on patient and staff safety in recent weeks.

She said Port Lincoln staff were meant to take industrial action on Friday but due to more positive negotiations with the state government it was not necessary.

"Although we are still some distance away from receiving reconsidered Enterprise Bargaining proposals, the discussions appear to be moving in the right direction on some of the more significant matters that are in dispute," Ms Dabars said.

The bargaining claims fall under three key themes, safe staffing, strong workforce capacity and attract and retain.

"Nurses and midwives have been standing up to ensure our public health services are safely staffed, adequately resourced and offer working conditions that attract and retain people in the professions, Ms Dabars said.

She said as part of attraction and retention of staff the federation was proposing a workplace violence and prevention strategy.

Ms Dabars said the assault of a nurse at the Port Lincoln Hospital earlier this year had highlighted the issue nurses and midwives had long been calling for action on.

While in Port Lincoln Ms Dabars met with nurses and midwives to thank them for their courage in publicly advocating in the best interests of their patients, their professions and their local community.

"They should be applauded for sending a clear message that they want their community to have access to the best possible care now and in the future," she said.

"Like their counterparts across the State, nurses and midwives at Port Lincoln Hospital play such an important role in the community and I feel privileged to be in a position to represent their interests."