“Members were saying: “Strike, strike now”
“Our RPA members have been telling us they are stretched, having to staff several vaccinations hubs, the special health accommodation hotels, and the COVID screening stations.
Staffing those things has taken away from our casual pool and extra nursing hours, leaving our Emergency Department, Intensive Care and Midwifery reporting mass shortages at the hospital.
I know that each NSWNMA branch has met and held meetings and decided individually to go out on strike. A union is only as strong as its members. It’s important that we hear from our members about how strongly they feel about this issue.
At RPA 70 members came to our branch meeting to discuss the strike – in the middle of COVID to get 70 members is just incredible. All the comments from the members were saying ‘Strike, strike now.’ It was a very strong and clear message from all the members involved that they wanted to take action. I haven’t heard that in a good ten years.
A motion was put up on 25 June to strike immediately, and members voted to walk out for two hours. Several hundred nurses, midwives and supportive allied health staff assembled on the footpath on Missenden Road.
Whenever we are on strike, we make sure that there is skeleton staffing, and a plan to cover any dangerous situation.
The community was really supportive. People come into hospital and see how busy we are.”
— O’Bray Smith, NSWNMA President