The WA government is taking the nurse’s union to the Industrial Relations Commission.

The state has applied to its industrial umpire for help with an ongoing and escalating dispute over pay and conditions for nurses and midwives.

The government says it will implement nurse-to-patient ratios within the next two years following demands from the Australian Nursing Federation, but is standing firm on its pay deal.

The deal would see all public sector workers given a $3,000 cost of living bonus, as well as the greater of a three-per-cent a year pay rise, or an extra $60 a week.

ANF members have rejected that offer and say they will continue escalating industrial action, including rejecting overtime and double shifts, and closing any beds over a ward's capacity.

The union wants a 10 per cent pay rise.

WA Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston says the government has applied to the Industrial Relations Commission “for their help in resolving the ongoing negotiations”.

“The Department of Health has been trying to get to agreement with the ANF but we haven't been able to [do] so,” Mr Johnston said.

“As is sometimes the case, it's helpful to get the commission to aid the bargaining.

“Even [though the] government feels it has moved very considerably in responding to issues raised by the ANF in bargaining, we haven't found agreement.

“Therefore seeking the help of the commission is a sensible step.

“We hope that the involvement of the WAIRC can assist, as we would also really like to provide the $3,000 cost of living payment into the pockets of nurses and midwives by Christmas.”