“My colleagues are feeling a lot of disappointment with the government”
Rebecca Rispoli, Branch Secretary of NSWNMA Bulli Hospital Branch, says a lot of the public are also against the wage freeze.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we didn’t have the opportunity to take any leave, and so for the government to come out and say ‘You won’t get any pay increase’ just feels like a slap in the face.
It hardly seems like the time for uncertainty, especially when we see senior government officials and senior public servants getting pay rises that are as much as a first year nurse’s entire wage. These guys have got certainty and they are quite comfortable. They are not doing anything on the front line. They are not doing anything that will expose them to the disease.
My colleagues are feeling a lot of disappointment with the government.
The crisis has hit some nurses personally. My own partner is a casual worker with the council doing bush regeneration and parks. Because they tend to share vehicles, at the beginning of the crisis, shifts were being cancelled. Because of that we were relying on one income for a while.
We’ve held a union meeting by Zoom in our branch, and we sent a letter to our local MP, Ryan Park, the Shadow Minister for Health, seeking his support against the wage freeze.
We are hearing a lot of public opposition to the wage freeze. My patients, regardless of COVID-19, say we do deserve a lot more credit that we are given.
Nurses are finding it difficult at the moment. We have just had an increase to our annual registration fees. It’s hard to understand why we have to have a wage freeze.