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City among the first to get more nurses

Friday, 11th March, 2011

MORE NURSES: Leann Barber, Bonnie Tavian, Linda Griffiths, Annie Anderson, Anne Thomas, Shelley Forrest and Zoe Tonkin. MORE NURSES: Leann Barber, Bonnie Tavian, Linda Griffiths, Annie Anderson, Anne Thomas, Shelley Forrest and Zoe Tonkin.

By Gina Wilson

More nurses and midwives will soon be working the wards at the local hospital.

The NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA) has advocated for Broken Hill to be one of the first hospitals to get more nurses under a new wages deal.

Local NSWNA organiser, Linda Griffiths, said she wanted the first nurses to come to the Broken Hill Hospital because it was often short staffed.

"I've advocated for Broken Hill because they're always light on and they need to be staffed up," Ms Griffiths said.

The NSWNA and NSW Health struck a wages deal last month following a long campaign, which at its peak saw the closure of more than 600 public system hospital beds.

The deal meant an extra 1,400 full-time equivalent nurses would be working in public hospitals by June 2013 - with the first to begin next month.

It also guaranteed the replacement of nurse absences with a nurse of the same classification where possible. It also gave nurses a 9.4 per cent pay increase over three year, backdated to last January.

Ms Griffiths said the NSWNA and the Department of Health were yet to decide how the implementation of new nurses would take place.

"We don't know who'll be in the first round," she said.

She visited the city yesterday to explain how the new deal would effect staff locally.

"There will be an increase in staff available in the medical and surgical wards and possibly an increase in midwife numbers," Ms Griffith said.

"It's a really good outcome for your community because you know nurses will come into the system when they're safe and they'll want to come out here to get the rural and regional experience.

"It's a big win and it's put a framework in place now that we can build on.

"It's certainly not everything we wanted but it's a start."

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