Nepean Hospital nurses strike next week

NEPEAN HOSPITAL nurses will stop work over proposed changes to workers compensation next Wednesday.

The strike will take place from 7am to 4pm, when the nurses join other public sector workers in Unions NSW-organised protests in Sydney.

The hospital's Nurses' Association secretary, Peter Mason, said emergency services would remain open during the stoppage.

''We will maintain night shift staff levels, so that operating theatre and delivery services will be the same,'' Mr Mason said.

Nurses decided to take industrial action at a meeting in Nepean Hospital yesterday, which followed the first protests against the government last Monday. (See previous story: Nurses feel compo pain.)

The proposed changes would cut the maximum time for full pay while on sick leave from 26 weeks to 13.

Mr Mason said nursing was a high-risk industrial injury profession, similar to policing and firefighting.

He said between six and 10 nurses at Nepean Hospital each year could be expected to sustain workplace injuries, serious enough to keep them on sick leave for more than 13 weeks.

''After next Wednesday's action we will be waiting to see what response we get from the government,'' Mr Mason said.

''There are moves afoot to have more actions, with each hospital doing its own campaigning.

''We'll be going on with this campaign, well into the future.''

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