Ratios should help recruit staff
Theatre nurse Verita Roach, a member of the NSWNMA negotiating committee at MUH, said winning guaranteed ratios was a “fantastic achievement”.
“Before now, we could never be certain we would have adequate staffing on a shift. Hopefully, mandatory ratios will help to recruit more nurses so we can reduce the reliance on overtime,” Verita said.
“In theatre, we have been expected to work long hours to cover shifts. Getting ACORN staffing standards will give us something to fall back on if we feel that staffing arrangements are not satisfactory.
“Nurses are generally very pleased with the agreement and keen to see it in place and up and running. Hats off to the union officers and branch officials – they did a great job.
“Ward nurses are particularly pleased about getting the ratios. They have been under a lot of stress due to short-staffing and want to be able to give their best for the patients.”
Verita said theatre nurses welcomed the new EA provision for 10-hour breaks after overtime shifts.
“Overtime is very common in theatres and our nurses sometimes have to drive an hour and a half to get to and from work.
“The change to the on-call allowance is another improvement. Staff no longer have to be on call for 24 hours to get the allowance, they can go on call for eight hour or 12 hour periods.
“That means you don’t have to lose your entire weekend when you go on call.”
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