Reports that NSW Health is considering "taking action" against the thousands of nurses and midwives that went on strike for better conditions, safe staff to patient ratios and fair pay yesterday is a kick in the guts for the state’s exhausted healthcare workers at a time when they’re crying out for support, says Greens MP and health spokesperson Cate Faehrmann.
"What an extraordinary kick in the guts Brad Hazzard has just given our exhausted frontline healthcare workers,” said Cate Faehrmann.
“Frontline healthcare workers do not strike lightly. For nurses and midwives to take this action shows us just how dire things have become in our public hospitals. Instead of intimidating workers with threats of disciplinary action, the Government needs to act urgently and do more to support them.
“Nurses and midwives are at breaking point. They've worked around the clock to keep us safe throughout this pandemic and received nothing but empty thanks and an effective pay cut twice over two years from this government.
"Yesterday, I was proud to join the thousands of nurses, midwives and their supporters outside NSW Parliament. I didn’t spot a single one of my Liberal or National party colleagues amongst the crowd.
“The Greens support the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association’s calls for safe staff to patient ratios, better conditions and fair pay.
“We have also been calling for NurseKeeper, our plan which would see an immediate $5,000 bonus and another in 12 months as a retention measure and show of gratitude as well as pandemic pay of at least $60 per shift.
“We’ve heard for several weeks now that the Government might be considering some sort of pandemic pay, or even a pay rise for frontline healthcare workers, yet nothing has been announced. No wonder they’re at breaking point because they are sick of empty thanks and promises from this government,” said Ms Faehrmann.