Peace...well, for three years
Victorian nurses have saved nurse-patient ratios but the long, bitter dispute shows the state should not leave workforce planning to be decided in such a heated environment, writes Pauline Stanton.
There is little doubt that the outcome of the 2011 enterprise bargaining round for nurses in the Victorian public hospital sector was a success for the Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing Federation. The final agreement included not only an acceptable pay increase but avoided the introduction of health assistants and importantly the protection of nurse-patient ratios. Questions remain, however, as to why the acrimonious bargaining process took so long and are we likely to see a repeat of the same scenario in three year's time? The antecedents of this dispute go back to the 1990s and...
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