NURSES will protest for mandated staff-to-patient ratios in the centre of Tamworth.
The movement began with a small group of nurses in Manilla and has quickly gathered momentum.
“We’re continuing our push,” Manilla nurse Tanya Rogers said.
“We want to ensure we can give patients a high standard of care.
“The current nurses minute is still over 10 minutes, that shouldn’t be happening.”
This time, the growing group will include nurses from Barraba, Gunnedah, Walcha, Quirindi and Tamworth all fighting for mandated ratios in hospitals across the state.
The nurses have been meeting almost weekly with Hunter New England Health representatives to try to reach an agreement.
An additional enrolled nurse has been added in the aged care sector at Manilla Multipurpose Service, Rural and Regional Health Services executive Susan Hayman said.
“We are continuing our discussions with the NSW Midwives and Nurses Association,” she said.
The union agreed to an award in 2011 that allowed for flexible staffing, but eight years on the demands on nurses have grown.
The Peel Street rally has attracted a number of state election candidates, with Shooters Fishers and Farmers’ Jeff Bacon, Labor’s Steven Mears and independent Mark Rodda tipped to give speeches.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson will go along, but he believes the issue lies with management – not ratios.
“We have to first and foremost go back to the reason why they’re unhappy and don’t feel supported,” he said.
“I’m a believer one size doesn’t fit all.”
The nurses will hold the rally on Peel Street outside Ray Walsh House at 10am on Saturday.