Valley nurses vow to strike over pay



Nurses at Clarence Valley hospitals will strike next Wednesday if an ongoing pay dispute with the Carr Government cannot be resolved.

On Wednesday branch members of the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA) at Grafton Base Hospital and Maclean District Hospital voted in favour of joining the statewide day-shift strike on May 11 if negotiations fail.

Public hospital nurses are asking for a 16 per cent increase over four years, an increase already awarded to other public hospital staff who claim membership with other unions.

The Carr Government has offered nurses a 12 per cent increase over four years.

Yesterday the NSW Industrial Relations Commission appealed to both parties to resolve the dispute by scheduling another compulsory conciliation for next Monday.

NSWNA spokeswoman Judith Kiedja said nurses had fought hard to achieve parity with their colleagues and could not afford to lose ground by accepting the Government's offer.



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