The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has confirmed public sector members will continue to raise awareness of staffing issues and pursue nurse-to-patient ratios for NSW, in light of the significant pressures impacting the state’s health system.
Yesterday, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) approved the NSW government’s 2.04% pay offer for public sector nurses and midwives, and varied their state Award with back pay from 1 July 2021.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said shamefully, there was no consideration of any staffing improvements for the thousands of nurses and midwives who were keeping public hospitals running in the current pandemic.
“The IRC heard the Ministry of Health’s application on the 2.04% pay increase but refused to acknowledge the chronic understaffing or patient safety issues consistently raised by our members,” said Mr Holmes.
“The excessive workloads and volume of overtime being forced upon or expected of nurses and midwives statewide is out of control. These concerns are widespread and there’s currently no reprieve in sight.
“The government unashamedly insists there is no staffing crisis in NSW public hospitals, yet the evidence is abundantly clear.
“Nurses and midwives will not stop advocating for shift-by-shift nurse-to-patient ratios in NSW until they are law. Victoria and Queensland are already experiencing the patient safety and economic benefits of mandated ratios.”
Mr Holmes said the NSWNMA had welcomed confirmation free parking would be reintroduced while the current COVID-19 restrictions on the use of public transport were in place.
“The temporary measure will be a small reprieve for our members, who are already navigating additional pressures and growing challenges in their workplaces, as they try to keep communities safe,” Mr Holmes concluded.
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