South Australian nurses say the state government is pushing ahead with a redundancy program despite the ongoing concerns posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says it has learned of plans to restart voluntary redundancies across health as part of a cost-cutting exercise implemented last year.

The process was put on hold during the COVID-19 emergency after 395 people applied, including 150 nurses.

The federation says about 377 packages still need to be taken.

Branch chief executive Elizabeth Dabars says restarting the program is “completely irresponsible” while concerns remain around the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t know how they can justify getting rid of nurses,” Ms Dabars said in a statement on Tuesday.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals started a process of getting retired nurses back into the workforce.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“Now that COVID is steady, they want to get rid of people, it seems unnecessary and reckless.”

Ms Dabars said the federation wanted a formal commitment from health officials that redundancies would remain on hold until the virus emergency had passed.

AAP