NURSES at Albury's public hospital and mental health unit have rejected a 1.04 per cent pay offer from the NSW government and remain frustrated the state will not follow Victoria and adopt a patient ratio system.
The votes by members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Associations were part of a statewide rejection of the deal and preceded industrial action at sites beyond the Riverina.
Following the stopwork move, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ordered the association and its member not to engage in further industrial action until at least June 30.
Nurses at the Nolan House mental health clinic are concerned a lack of staff is risking safety for them and patients, while those at the hospital are concerned about pressures created by more acutely unwell people attending the emergency department.
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Association general secretary Brett Holmes said difficulties in Albury were reflected across the state.
"The NSW government knows we've got a staffing crisis in our hospitals and is putting lives at risk by neglecting to adopt shift-by-shift ratios," Mr Holmes said.
The government has previously rejected ratios with Health Minister Brad Hazzard arguing its rostering system known as "nursing hours per patient day" allowed for more flexibility than "the rigid approach of mandated nurse to patient ratios".
Nurses on the Border have reportedly left NSW to work in the Victorian system because of better pay and ratios south of the Murray River.
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