Premier Colin Barnett has committed a re-elected Liberal Government to a 14 per cent pay rise over three years for WA nurses.
The offer is subject to the Liberal Government being re-elected on 9 March, in accordance with caretaker conventions.
This morning, the Australian Nursing Federation said its members were being threatened with deregistration if they continued with work bans over the pay dispute.
The Premier's office announced the pay agreement at 3.30pm today.
“There was never any question that the Government and the Department of Health did not value our nurses. What has changed today is that we have received advice from the Health Department that patient care is in peril," Colin Barnett said.
“We have been warned that patients’ lives are at risk because of the escalation of this dispute. This cannot be tolerated,” the Premier said.
The in-principle agreement was struck after a meeting today between the Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, representatives from the Premier’s Office, and representatives of the Australian Nurses Federation, including its state secretary, Mark Olson.
The ANF has agreed that bed closures will cease immediately and have indicated that they will instruct their members not to proceed with proposed strike action and will recommend its members accept the conditional offer.
Mr Barnett said: “The Government always intended to negotiate a good deal for nurses on whom our hospitals and health system rely so heavily. This will ensure our nurses pay rates will remain near the top of the scale across the country.”
The proposed 14 per cent increase over three years involves 5 per cent from 1 July 2013, then 4 per cent and 5 per cent.
This offer comes after a difficult period of industrial action in our hospitals.
The Department of Health will move to reinstate elective surgery as soon as possible.