Nurses have voted to close one in five public hospital beds as part of their bid for improved pay and conditions.
More than 1,000 nurses from hospitals across the metro area stopped work to attend the vote.
They are pushing for a 20 per cent pay rise over three years.
The union says instead nurses have been offered nine per cent.
He says after weeks of campaigning, staff at about 30 hospitals have joined the cause.
Mr Olson says although the nurses' current agreement does not end until June, it is important a new agreement is reached before the state election.
"Our members know that the Government won't care after the election," he said.
The Health Department has labelled the decision by nurses to close the beds as 'very irresponsible'.
Health Director-General Kim Snowball says the current agreement does not expire for another four and a half months and the nurses are putting people at risk with their actions.
"There's plenty of time for us to reach an amicable agreement with the nurses," he said.
"We're very keen to do that, we want to see our nurses paid competitively and against national rates.
"They have generally been in the top bracket and we want to maintain that."
Mr Olson says nurses have waited too long.
"It devastates me to be in a situation where we have to close beds to get our voice heard," he said.
"But I'd be actually directing their correspondence, I'd be directing any anger they have to the Premier, to the Health Minister who've had three months to sort this out.
"And, all they can say to us is 'we'll do it after the election, we'll do it after the election'.
Mr Snowball says no formal pay deal can be struck while the Government is in caretaker mode.
"What we are able to do is make clear commitment to negotiate an agreement and as I said at the outset we are very keen to make sure our nurses are paid on a competitive basis nationally," he said.
"That's what we aim to do, we want to do that amicably without putting patient safety at risk."