Victorian public sector nurses are gearing up for their 2016 enterprise agreement campaign. A statewide meeting of around 1,000 delegates on 23 March heard reports on the progress of negotiations with the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association.

The nurses union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, served a log of claims on the employers in January. Central to the nurses’ claims are the maintenance of current conditions and an improvement in pay.

Victorian nurses are paid less than the national average pay rates for nurses. For division one nurses, the union is seeking at least a 3 percent per year pay rise on base rates of pay, plus an additional catch-up amount to bring Victorian nurses into line with other states.

There are plans for a ballot to authorise protected industrial action as part of the campaign. The next mass meeting is planned for 20 April.