Jo-Anne McKeough.
Jo-Anne McKeough.

Skinner shrugs off angry nurses

NURSES have given NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner a cold reception at their 66th annual conference in Sydney this week.

NSW Nurses Association North Coast organiser Jo-Anne McKeough said nurses were angry at changes to the Industrial Relations Commission and their workplace rights.

“She says she is nurse friendly yet she has taken away our ability to have a fair hearing in the commission,” she said.

“Every time Ms Skinner was questioned about it she simply said she disagreed but gave no supporting evidence or substantiating evidence.”

Nurses unanimously passed two landmark resolutions on staff and patient security in hospitals, and the NSW Government’s controversial new workplace rules for public sector workers.

The resolution on hospital security was moved by the association’s Blacktown Hospital branch where two nurses have been attacked in the last 12 months.

The resolution called for mandated minimum security staff numbers in all emergency departments and hospitals.

“This Annual Conference of the NSWNA deplores the level of violence in public health care services which has reached the point where nurses and their patients and visitors are no longer safe,” the resolution read.

“We call on NSWNA to lobby NSW Health and the Government to ensure the security of the NSW community and employees in public health care facilities.”

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