“It’s really insulting”: Nepean nurses and midwives fight wage freeze
Enraged members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) have gathered in Penrith as part of rolling actions over the Berejiklian Government’s public sector wage freeze.
Members of the NSWNMA Nepean Hospital and Nepean Mental Health branches are angered by the 0.3% pay offer, as some nurses grapple with a rise of just 7 cents an hour, or $2.90 per week.
NSWNMA Nepean Hospital Branch Secretary, Alicia Rodgers, said the decision has had a heavy impact on the morale of nurses and midwives.
“This 0.3% offer came as an absolute shock. We didn’t expect this level of disrespect,” said Ms Rodgers.
“The Berejiklian Government committed to delivering public sector workers our annual 2.5% increase and now they have broken that promise to nurses and midwives. How heartless can they be after all we’ve endured this year?
“Day in, day out, nurses and midwives turn up to work to fight COVID-19, knowing full well the risk of exposing ourselves and our families. This is not how you treat our dedication and commitment.”
NSWNMA Nepean Mental Health Branch President, Monica Singh, said branch members were feeling dejected after an especially tough year for nurses specialising in mental health.
“It’s truly insulting. The pandemic has presented many different challenges, rapid change and an increase in services with limited support from the government, particularly for mental health nurses,” said Ms Singh.
“We are now expected to do more for less. A 0.3% wage freeze is the thanks we get? It’s really insulting.”