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Nurses to stop work in Sydney next week

Unions plan first of “many rallies” against new IR laws.

Protests against the NSW government's changes to public sector workplace laws have entered a new phase, with Sydney nurses to kick off state-wide strikes with a stop-work rally in Sydney next week.

Around 100 nurses, doctors and allied health workers gathered outside the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) in Sydney today to voice their opposition to the legislation.

Unions say the new law, which is certain to be passed by parliament after a marathon debate in the upper house at the weekend, will mean the state's Industrial Relations Commission will have to act at the direction of the government.

NSW Nurses' Association general secretary Brett Holmes told today’s rally the changes would be "worse than Work Choices", referring to the federal workplace relations laws of the former Howard government.

He said nursing union sub-branches across Sydney would be voting this week on whether to allow employees to strike on June 15 so they can attend a rally outside Parliament House.

"I have no doubt it will be the first of many rallies," Holmes told the nurses outside the RPA.

"This will be a Sydney rally and we will be calling for more regional rallies and asking our members ... how they feel about being betrayed by the O'Farrell government."


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