Nurses have voted to strike for 24 hours starting on Monday if they don't receive a pay offer from the Government before then.

Earlier this week nurses voted to close one in five beds in public hospitals and cancel some surgeries in a bid to pressure the Government for a 20 per cent pay rise over three years.

The Australian Nursing Federation yesterday proposed to cancel the industrial action if the Health Department today agreed to a 12.75 per cent rise and no loss of conditions.

But that has not happened and nurses have now voted to walk off the job as well as revise their pay demands back up to 20 per cent.

The Health Department and the ANF have been locked in talks before the industrial relations umpire for the past two days but so far they have not been able to resolve the matter.

Chief medical officer for the Department, Gary Geelhoed, says a strike will lead to disaster.

"I think we can say quite clearly this may lead to deaths of patients," he said.

"We know in research done in this state around the four-hour rule that the busier you are in emergency departments, the longer people wait in emergency departments, the higher the death rate goes."

Earlier this morning the Premier Colin Barnett said he is prepared to meet with the ANF in an attempt to halt any more industrial action.

But he maintains a new deal cannot be signed while the Government is in caretaker mode.

He is urging nurses not to strike.

"I think my appeal to nurses is please don't go out on strike," Mr Barnett said.

"Don't disrupt the operation of health care in the state for something which has still got months laid down for further negotiations if they're required.

"If it would help avert industrial action I'm certainly happy or pleased to meet with Mark Olson.

"But again I stress, that will not mean that an agreement will be reached or that I would indeed formally negotiate an agreement."

 

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