The West

WA nurses will hold a mass meeting at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre tomorrow morning, as their industrial action moves into its fifth day.

At a hearing today attended by the Australian Nursing Federation and Health Department officials, the Industrial Relations Commission did not order nurses to lift the work bans that have now seen hundreds of hospitals beds closed.

However, it said the union needed to organise a mass meeting of its members tomorrow to seek a resolution.

The ANF says nurses would accept a minimum 12.75 per cent pay rise over three years but the department is yet to respond.

The Industrial Relations Commission yesterday recommended WA nurses lifted the work bans.

WA Health officials also warned lives were at risk because seriously ill patients were waiting too long to get beds.

Director-general of health Kim Snowball said on Tuesday the move not to staff one in five beds in most public hospital wards was putting critically ill patients at risk.

But Australian Nursing Federation secretary Mark Olson disputed Mr Snowball's claims, insisting no patients' lives would be put at risk during the campaign.

A meeting of 1000 nurses and midwives voted on Monday to effectively close the beds and cancel one in five elective surgeries, with exemptions for patients such as those who are critically ill and children.

The West Australian

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