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NSW nurses and midwives to strike next week over working conditions



Hundreds of nurses and midwives will stop work next week to demand the government address staff shortages and provide a bigger pay rise.

Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) will walk off the job on Tuesday, June 28.

They said the government has failed to address staff numbers in the NSW budget.

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NSWNMA Acting General Secretary Shaye Candish said it's unclear how many full-time equivalent nurses and midwives will be added to the workforce, given Local Health Districts would be given funds to spend at their discretion.

"The sheer lack of transparency is palpable," Candish said.

"There are widespread staffing deficits right across the state now and there is no guarantee that the government's 'health workforce boost' will be utilised to plug gaps in the staffing rosters now.

"We need fundamental reform of our healthcare system.

"We need ratios, alongside transparent spending of taxpayer dollars to ensure NSW receives the right patient care, not more unaccountable cash being thrown about, without any guarantee of meaningful staffing solutions."

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Thursday's upcoming health workers strike comes off a strike held by nurses and midwifes demanding better pay.

They also said the one-off $3000 payment made to frontline workers last month wasn't enough.

"The 'thank you' payment does very little to recognise the sacrifices and moral injury our members endured throughout the pandemic, which we all know extends across the entire health system, not just public hospitals," Assistant General Secretary Michael Whaites said.

"Emergency departments, intensive care units, maternity, paediatrics, inpatient mental health, all of these areas and more have been significantly disrupted during the pandemic and chronic staffing shortages exposed, yet they've failed to attract a mention in this budget."

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The union said the government not addressing staff shortages leaves patients in danger.

Over 70 of the union's branches have voted to stop work next Tuesday for various hours from two to 24.

It comes as public and Catholic school teachers have made the landmark decision to hold joint industrial action next Thursday because the government only offered a three per cent pay rise in the budget.

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