Westmead nurses livid over wage freeze
Outraged members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) gathered outside Westmead Hospital, incensed by the public sector wage freeze pursued by the Berejiklian Government.
Westmead Hospital has been at the forefront of the medical response to COVID-19, prompting many nurses and midwives to feel demoralised by a 0.3% pay offer from the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, instead of 2.5% as promised by the government.
Members of the NSWNMA Westmead Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children branches were stunned by the wage freeze, which equates to just 7 cents per hour or $2.90 per week for some nurses.
Kay Burns, NSWNMA Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Branch Secretary, said it was evident the Berejiklian Government did not value the vital work of nurses and midwives battling COVID-19 head on.
“Our members were treating the state’s first COVID-19 patients in intensive care, leading the fight against a global health pandemic that came at us fast and furious,” said Ms Burns.
“If NSW is touted as the ‘gold standard’ in COVID-19 response and suppression, why aren’t nurses and midwives getting the pay we have worked ourselves into the ground for? It’s offensive and we are livid.
Joseph Di Santi, Westmead Hospital Branch President, concurred with Kay’s sentiments.
“The wage freeze affects everyone,” he said. “My colleagues and I feel very disheartened by this wage freeze”.
Both branches have pledged to continue fighting for fair wages for their members.