Government & nurses union agree pay deal

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Peace has finally descended on the stoush between the nurses union and the state government, with a breakthrough deal in the protracted wages dispute which has been going on for over 12 months.

The Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation has signed off on an agreement giving public sector workers a 2.1 percent pay rise.

It's a 1 year agreement which will give nurses on average $700 in backpay, without a loss in conditions.

"This deal is fair and it is affordable," Health Minister Sarah Courtney said. 

About 80 percent of ANMF members voted in favour of the agreement, making it the first union to strike a deal with the Hodgman Government.

"It is important that HACSU, which represents a very small proportion of nurses in Tasmania compared to the ANMF, does not hold this deal up. We want to see that back pay given to our hardworking nurses as soon as possible," Ms Courtney said.

"The Government wants to see all public servants receive a fair and affordable pay rise, and we encourage all unions to take the ANMF’s lead and negotiate in good faith."

Critics are pointing out the government will back at the negioatiing table soon, as the new agreement covers the period when no-deal was in place.

"Negiotations with the ANMF, as I understand it, will commence very quickly because this agreement expires very quickly," Deputy Opposition Leader Michelle O'Byrne said. 

"This doesn't go away and buy the government any space; it does give a little bit of comfort for those nurses who voted for it - but this campaign will continue and the government has to learn to sit down and negotiate in good faith with its workers."

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