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Nurses dispute goes to court

Victorian hospitals are seeking to halt the ANF’s rolling work stoppages with an application to the Federal Court today.

The nurses' dispute worsens today with the four-hour stoppages spreading to three more hospitals - The Alfred, Sunshine and Latrobe Regional Health.

It will take the tally to 15 hospitals across Victoria which are taking part in the twice daily stoppages.

The Federal Court will hear an application today from the body representing Victoria's public hospitals in an attempt to force nurses to end their industrial action.

The Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association (VHIA) is trying to force nurses to comply with a Fair Work Australia order to lift their work bans.

About 2000 nurses and midwives participated in stoppages yesterday at 12 hospitals, including The Austin, Monash Medical Centre at Royal Melbourne, Dandenong, Ballarat and St Vincents.

The action comes as the VHIA prepares to put another proposal on the table to try to end the dispute over a new workplace agreement, which has dragged on for more than three months.

VHIA chief executive Alec Djoneff said a new proposal will be put to the nurses early this week which they should find "reasonably attractive", and that there was no reason for the industrial action to continue.

Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) state secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said nurses will stop work twice daily for up to four hours each time until the dispute is resolved.

Participating nurses are reducing staff numbers on wards to night levels in protest against what they see as a proposed watering down of nurse-patient ratios.

The nurses are continuing to defy an order by the workplace umpire last Friday to end the bans.


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