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SA nurses reject pay offer

Government negotiators agree to reconsider proposals.

South Australian nurses say a state government response to their wages and conditions claim has fallen short of the mark.

Details of the package have not been revealed, but Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars said today it would not be acceptable to members.

She said government negotiators had agreed to reconsider their proposals and come back to the federation on Friday.

"The state government's package on staffing levels, skills mix, professional development, career structure, wages and working conditions will not be acceptable to our public sector members based on feedback received during recent workplace meetings," Dabars said.

Nurses and midwives want a nine per cent pay rise over three years as well as changes to staffing levels and workloads.

The federation said any government offer would need to deal with the capacity of nurses and midwives to provide safe and effective care to the community.

"This means that staffing levels and the mix of nursing and midwifery staff needs to be protected and enhanced, and time and resources must be made available to support skills development," Dabars said.

Ahead of the union's response to the government's offer, Industrial Relations Minister Paul Holloway said it included a pay increase, in line with the budget strategy, as well as a revised salary structure.

Holloway said the government had the highest regard for nurses and midwives and wanted to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement that provided a fair outcome.


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