Government must give striking healthcare workers’ their pay rise or risk health system collapse


The NSW Government must respond to thousands of striking healthcare workers across the state by agreeing to scrap the 2.5% public sector wage freeze and grant all healthcare workers a fair pay rise, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and health and wellbeing spokesperson.

“The Government’s policy of capping wage rises at 2.5% doesn't even keep up with inflation. A fair pay rise for healthcare workers in NSW is well overdue,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“Let’s be clear: what the state government is offering is a pay cut. By refusing to negotiate, they’re effectively cutting the wages of healthcare workers during a pandemic and risking the full-scale collapse of our healthcare system.

“This is the third health sector strike we’ve seen in NSW in six weeks. Workers are burnt out and desperate for things to change.

“With prices rising, housing costs skyrocketing, and pressures from chronic understaffing at work, it’s no wonder people are leaving the health system in droves. We can’t expect people to keep working so hard for shrinking wages.

“It’s like the government actually wants our health system to fall apart.

“The government needs to recognise the additional burden that increasing covid infections, on top of rising flu cases this winter, is placing on health workers who have nothing left to give.

“This strike is just a taste of how decimated our healthcare system will be if the government refuses to act. We need a well-resourced, well-paid workforce in our health system.

“I urge the government to make the strikers an offer that they can reasonably accept.  Our state should be paying healthcare workers what they deserve,” said Ms Faehrmann.

Ms Faehrmann has been a vocal supporter of nurses, midwives, paramedics and other health workers in their calls for improved conditions and pay.  Last week she gave notice in the NSW Upper House of her intention to introduce a bill to legislate nurse-to-patient ratios in NSW. She is currently consulting with nurses and midwives on the details of the Bill.