Nurses and midwives deserve better than a pay freeze: Saffin

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has marked International Nurses Day (Tuesday, May 12) by thanking nurses and midwives working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands.

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has marked International Nurses Day (Tuesday, May 12) by thanking nurses and midwives working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands.

Ms Saffin has joined the Lismore Base Hospital and Tweed Valley Community Nurses branches of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association in condemning a NSW Government plan to freeze public sector workers’ pay increases this year.

“This move is a slap in the face for our hard-working nurses and midwives in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, a year in which our hospitals and GP practices have come under enormous stress,” Ms Saffin said.

“Nurses and midwives follow a calling in their professions, but their essential work places them and their families at risk of contracting COVID-19. They deserve our thanks, support and our respect.”

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association branches yesterday (Monday, May 11) called on the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to:

  1. Publicly commit that the proposed plan to freeze wages will not go ahead,  and
  2. Commit to providing the sustained funding we need to continue to fight this pandemic.

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association members resolved to campaign against the pay freeze, noting that many of their family members had lost jobs, and they now were being expected to carry the economic as well as the health burden of COVID-19.

“Freezing wages, cutting Government spending and other austerity measures are proven to prolong recessions. If you want workers to spend, you need to pay them more!” their resolution read.

Ms Saffin said it was about time that the NSW Government started delivering on its election commitment to deliver an extra 284 nurses and midwives, 32 doctors, 38 allied health staff and 50 hospital support workers across the Lismore Electorate.

“Now, more than ever with COVID-19, we need these additional positions in our emergency departments and on our hospital wards,” Ms Saffin said.

“Deputy Premier John Barilaro last year wrote to me, stating unequivocally that the NSW Government would honour all of its election commitments. I expect nothing less.”

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

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