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ANMF pushes for further freeze on redundancy offers for SA nurses

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's South Australian branch is concerned that a plan to offer redundancies to some of the state’s nurses will forge ahead despite the looming threat of a second wave of COVID-19.

In a statement released today, the union said it has learned of plans to restart Voluntary Separation Packages at Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).

The union said the scheme – which invited staff to put up their hands for redundancy payouts – was part of a cost-cutting exercise implemented last year across the state’s health system.

Before the plan was put on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a total of 395 staff applied, about 150 of them nurses, with 377 packages still to be taken, the ANMF said.

The union’s South Australian branch secretary, Adjunct Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars, said: “At the beginning of the pandemic hospitals started a process of getting retired nurses back into the workforce.

“Now that COVID is steady they want to get rid of people; it seems unnecessary and reckless.”

Dabars said the union is yet to have received notification from CALHN of a change in position.

It now wants a formal commitment that no more packages will be doled out until the need for additional capability and capacity across health services ebbs.

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