NSW hospital workers to strike today amid demands for pay rise

Hospital workers are walking off the job in New South Wales today as the stalemate between the union and the government over pay rises and staffing levels continues.

It is the third strike workers have held in a matter of weeks, after previously avoiding industrial action for more than 10 years.

Hospital workers, including nurses, most recently walked off the job on March 31, after previously doing so on February 15.
Healthcare workers say they have done it tough during the pandemic and are at breaking point. (9News)

Today, paramedics are set to strike first, between 7am-8am, but they will still be undertaking emergency call-outs.

Other workers, including cleaning, kitchen, and administration staff, will walk off four four hours from 10am-2pm in the major metropolitan hospitals.

Regional hospital staff will strike from 10am-12pm.

The Health Services Union is pushing for a 5.5 per cent pay rise, while the government is offering 2.5 per cent, which the union says won’t even cover inflation.

Staffing levels are also in the firing line.

Dolly Borg, a ward assistant at a Sydney Hospital, said health workers were angry with politicians.

Thursday's upcoming health workers strike comes off a strike held by nurses and midwifes demanding better pay.
A pay rise and staffing levels are key issues in the stand-off between the union and the government. (Getty)

“We are the lowest income workers in the public health system. And ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ isn’t enough,” she told Today.

“We need action. We need to know that we can put food on the table, buy petrol to come to work, at a reasonable price.”

She said “low-income” healthcare workers hadn’t made a complaint through all the long days of the pandemic, but that things had to change.

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“What’s going to happen in the future? Are we going to be on the poverty line? We’re not in a Third World country. This is Australia,” she said.

The government has so far steered clear of attacking health workers, praising them for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has, however, blamed the union for the ongoing strikes, which it says has caused disruptions for patients.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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