Public health sector nurses and midwives across the state are expressing their anger and disgust over a 1.04%* pay increase offered by the NSW government for 2021-22.
NSW Ministry of Health made the pay offer to the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) after just one meeting, rejecting any improvements to the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (state) Award 2019, including widespread calls for shift-by-shift ratios.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said the union was discussing the offer with members, but initial reactions were scathing of it and the NSW government.
“After everything they have done, shift after shift, this is not the way to treat health professionals who have given their all, tackling a global health pandemic over the past year and assisting with the current vaccination rollout,” said Mr Holmes.
“Our members were bitterly disappointed by last year’s 0.3% wage freeze. To now put a pitiful 1.04% increase on the table and completely ignore any improvements to patient safety or provide better protection for nurses and midwives while at work is demoralising.
“Seeking safe staffing, safer personal protective equipment and a fair pay rise is hardly excessive.
“The NSW public health system is bursting at the seams, with increasing pressures being loaded onto health workers each year. It’s appalling the Ministry of Health believes nothing needs to change.
“The volume of nurses and midwives who tell us they feel unsupported at work is staggering. No doubt this latest offer will do very little to alleviate that and prompt many to consider their futures.
“Not only is this offer disrespectful of our hardworking members, it sends a message to any nurses and midwives entering the public health sector that they are not valued by their employer.
“Our economic recovery is the result of frontline health workers shouldering the burden of this pandemic, and in return they are expected to accept appallingly low wages growth. It’s a cop out by the government and yet another slap in the face.
“We’re talking to all of our public sector members about this insulting proposal and canvassing all of their options in response.”
*NSW Ministry of Health has indicated a 1.04 % pay offer, if the federal government’s 0.5% superannuation guarantee increase proceeds on 1 July 2021, forcing NSW nurses and midwives to pay for their own additional super out of the scheduled pay rise.
Download this release: Nurses and midwives react to latest pay offer