23 Mar 2006

PNG nurses seek industrial action over pay and working conditions

10:34 am on 23 March 2006

Papua New Guinea's Nurses Association says its more than five thousand members are seeking industrial action over pay and working conditions.

The Association's Lawrence Namaro says members are frustrated with the lack of response from the government, and have delivered a letter to the industrial registrar to seek approval for a secret ballot among members.

The government has been under pressure after the Treasury revealed that the Department of Health underspent its budget by almost 30 per cent last year.

Mr Namaro says the government has not addressed any of the concerns it members raised when they took industrial action last year.

He says they now have no choice but to strike.

"so, far the government have been very slow - especially in the health sector where the health department, the secretary and the minister of health have been very slow in pushing this case. And we really want to call the department and the health minister to really push our issues."

Lawrence Namaro of the Papua New Guinea Nurses Association.

The government has not been available for comment.