Hundreds of nurses at WA hospitals have continued to implement work bans as they wrangle the state government for higher pay and fewer menial tasks.
Work bans have so far been adopted at Royal Perth, Sir Charles Gairdner, Fremantle, Princess Margaret, King Edward Memorial, Bentley, Armadale, Rockingham and Graylands hospitals.
Similar action will also begin at Swan District Hospital this afternoon, while regional hospitals in Bunbury and Geraldton will adopt work bans on Tuesday and Thursday.
During the dispute, nurses will not do any work that does not directly involve patient care including removing rubbish, cleaning toilets and bathrooms, and moving medical equipment in and out of theatre rooms.
The nurses said they had been forced to do work that would normally be done by orderlies and cleaners - positions that had been cut back.
The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) was originally seeking a 20 per cent wage rise over three years, but members have now said they would accept a minimum 15 per cent increase over the same period.
The state has offered them three per cent a year - roughly equivalent to inflation - and a further 1.25 per cent per annum if they give up certain conditions.
The nurses are also complaining about a 700 per cent increase in parking fees at public hospitals.
ANF state secretary Mark Olson told AAP on Sunday that the effects of the work bans would come into play this week as operations slowed down at hospitals.
Mr Olson said there had not yet been any reaction from the State Government and he believed that the Liberal Party was ignoring the nursing issue because the March 9 election was looming.
“If Colin Barnett does not pay attention to this issue, he does not deserve to be premier,” he said.
Mr Olson said he had also been in discussions with the opposition but Labor had been cautious about making any promises.
He said while he could not rule out bed closures later this month if a more suitable offer was not made, he hoped that did not happen.
“It’s been 12 years since nurses have had to take industrial action,” Mr Olson said.“It would break my heart if hospitals had to close beds.”
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