The wage freeze isn’t about saving jobs – the Govt’s actions prove it
The NSW Government has proposed a wage freeze against hard-working nurses and midwives through COVID-19, claiming it’s all about jobs. We know from their actions that this simply cannot be true.
If the proposed wage freeze is about jobs, the NSW Government should have mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in our health system. They would have implemented it at the start of this pandemic, when they knew there would be increased demand on public hospitals and health services. This would have resulted in thousands of new roles for nursing and midwifery graduates across the state. Clearly, they did not do this.
If it is truly about keeping people in work, they would have guaranteed the roles and the hours of hundreds of casual nursing and midwifery staff members in NSW hospitals. Instead, qualified health professionals are left without work during the worst health crisis that we have had in a century.
If it really is about jobs, then the NSW Government would have supported the jobs of local government employees across the state who had been stood down because of closures caused by the pandemic. These were workers that had been left out in the cold as the Federal Government’s JobKeeper package didn’t apply to them. Instead, these workers have been left at the Centrelink line, with a very uncertain future.
Nurses and midwives have been risking their lives and their families by being on the frontlines. We’ve given their all, and proven their worth through this pandemic. The least the NSW Government can do is spare us from empty rhetoric about jobs.
Join the NSW Nurse and Midwives’ Association for a live session on why the NSW Government’s proposed wage freeze is bad for nurses and midwives. It’s on this Thursday at 16:30 via Zoom. You can register here.