Want to know why we’re fighting?
Imagine being a nurse who earns less than nurses in your bordering states, who for the last two-plus years has dealt with a global pandemic with no more than a “thanks”, a pay freeze, or a slap-in-the-face 0.3 per cent rise.
Imagine knowing that nurses in other states have been given a COVID bonus, and you’re still fighting for the pay rise you should have got two years ago.
Then imagine that your premier and health minister continue to say the system you work for is fine and coping.
Imagine seeing nurses in Victoria offered hospital surge support payments of up to $60 per shift and $300 per week, while NSW nurses are offered a virtual pat on the back.
Imagine knowing that if you worked as an RN7 in Queensland, you could earn an extra $128.10 per week (over $6500 a year more than you currently do).
Imagine being told by your government that thinks your health system is coping that nurse-to-patient ratios don’t work, despite massive evidence to the contrary.
Imagine being told that the 5000 new nurses they employed in 2019 fixed everything, with no regard for the reality that there is not the support for 5000 new grad nurses to be educated and orientated safely into a system that is already broken.
This is why we are fighting. This is why we are striking. This is why we are desperate for our state government to listen to us!
We need safe staffing ratios. We deserve a fair and decent pay rise. We need to be respected. Is it too much to ask for?
Rachel Hughes, EN