NSW State workers get real world decrease in pay

“Healthcare workers say they're under unprecedented pressure as they face a perfect storm of surging demand, workforce shortages and a daunting backlog caused by pandemic shutdowns,”

State employees to get a three per cent pay rise with inflation already at 5.1 per cent which in real terms is a two per cent decrease in wages.

The new two-year policy provides among the highest public sector wages growth in

the country with employees offered a 3.0 per cent remuneration increase per annum

in 2022-23 and 2023-24, with a possible further 0.5 per cent on offer in 2023-24 for

employees that make a substantial contribution to productivity enhancing reforms Mr Perrottet, the NSW State Premier, explained.

Nurses respond

“Healthcare workers say they’re under unprecedented pressure as they face a perfect storm of surging demand, workforce shortages and a daunting backlog caused by pandemic shutdowns,” according to the 7:30 Report which aired June 6.

This would make increasing productivity highly unlikely for nurses and health workers thus the 0.5 per cent top up would be out of reach.

“We sought a modest pay rise of 4.75 per cent, given the wage freeze our members suffered in 2020, they will be insulted by the 3 per cent offer and hints of a further 0.5 per cent next year if they promise to work even harder.

“NSW needs a government willing to be transparent and accountable. Today’s announcements achieve neither of these things and further highlight how out of touch they are with issues facing our state’s health workforce,” NSWNMA Acting Assistant General Secretary, Michael Whaites, said.

It appears the casual workers and part time employees who have worked hard in the past two years according to Mr Whaites may miss out on the $3,000 bonus.

“There’s also no clarity if casual nursing staff or those on temporary contracts will receive this payment, many of whom worked beyond fulltime hours in this pandemic to help their workplaces and communities. It would be deplorable if these hardworking nurses and midwives were arbitrarily excluded,” he said.

Nurses have already struck twice this year regarding ratios for nursing staff in the workplace and better pay.

“We need shift by shift ratios in NSW to deliver safe staffing and improve the working conditions of those who have endured so much while keeping our communities safe,” NSWNMA Acting General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said.

Local nurses explain

Nurse ratios are used in other states to ensure safety and help stop burn out, they equal one nurse per three patients in the emergency department and four patients per nurse in all other departments is the standard ratios supported widely by research and implemented in other states, Ms Bragga the local NSW Nursing and Midwives Association representative said.

She added that at times the nurse ratio at the hospital could reach 12 patients per nurse in the emergency department.

“Nurses are overworked, we are doing double shifts and overtime and then they come back the next morning to do it all over again.

That causes burnout, exhaustion and fatigue, which then leads to mistakes, things being missed, nurses are doing so much we are missing out when patients start deteriorating’”

She explained the strain on nurses becomes greater as they feel they are failing in the job.

“It hangs over your head, she said, you will wake up at 2am in the morning and go, ‘I forgot to do this or I forgot to do that,’ which further causes anxiety about going to work every day knowing you’re not able to uphold the standard of care you want to.

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