Striking nurses and midwives in Tasmania will mull a $2000 cash bonus offer from the state government amid heated wages negotiations.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) members have walked off the job at several of the state’s major public hospitals in recent weeks in their battle for improved pay and conditions.
The state Liberal government on Tuesday night announced it had offered the one-off allowance to relevant Tasmanian Health Service and Ambulance Tasmania staff as part of an updated offer.
ANMF Tasmania secretary Emily Shepherd said the new offer would be put to members.
“The one-off bonus will replace the existing COVID-19 allowance agreement if members accept the offer, noting $2000 is higher than any payments already calculated under the agreement,” she said in a statement.
Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the one-off payment would apply to about 9500 health service staff, and would be conditional on an end to industrial action.
Union members will hold a mass meeting at the North West Regional Hospital on Wednesday to consider the updated offer.
Labor MP David O’Byrne described the cash offer as a “cynical negotiation tactic”.
“(It has been) announced weeks after nurses and midwives were forced to strike just to have the government listen to their concerns,” he said.
The government’s overall offer includes a return-to-work bonus of $2000 and a trial of clinical nurse coaches on public hospital wards to mentor and support inexperienced staff.
It has also offered to bring forward enterprise agreement negotiations due to begin in November.
Hundreds of union members walked off the job at the Launceston General Hospital and Royal Hobart Hospital in separate strikes this month while ambulance staff have flagged industrial action this week.
© AAP 2022