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Byron Shire
June 1, 2023

Pay increase for public sector employees including nurses, teachers and paramedics

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There is no argument that the public sector has been suffering in the last two years with many people working extra hours to make up the shortfall in staffing owing to the pandemic and other community issues.

A small glimmer of hope has just been announced by the NSW Government.

Premier Dominic Perrottet spoke to the media this morning about a new public sector wages policy to provide increased pay for public sector employees including nurses, teachers and paramedics.

A two-year policy

Mr Perrottet said the new two-year policy provides among the highest public sector wages growth in the country with employees offered a 3.0 per cent remuneration increase per annum in 2022-23 and 2023-24, with a possible further 0.5 per cent on offer in 2023-24 for employees that make a substantial contribution to productivity-enhancing reforms. This provides for remuneration increases of up to 6.5 per cent over two years under the new policy.

The policy will apply to new industrial agreements that are struck from 1 July 2022.

In addition, a one-off payment of $3,000 will be provided to employees in the NSW Health Service in recognition of their work on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The payment covers paramedics, midwives, cleaners and all other permanent staff employed by the NSW Health Service.

A strong public service is essential

Mr Perrottet said a strong public service is essential to delivering what matters to make daily life better. ‘Our sound economic management allows us to invest in our people through higher wages and more frontline workers and continue to deliver the best services in the country and a brighter economic future for the people of NSW.’

But what about ratios?

Though not ungrateful for the financial boost, there are many in the NSW health sector who would just as happily see proper staff-patient ratios in place in the state’s health facilities.

One NSW public hospital nurse, who agrees that a strong public service is essential, said a pay increase is good but workable staff-patient ratios would be better. ‘A pay increase isn’t a gift – we deserve to be paid properly – but we want ratios.’

Fair and sustainable

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increase in wages was fair and sustainable in the current economic climate.

‘NSW is currently enjoying the lowest unemployment on record and it is important to maintain competitive wages to attract and retain the best talent. In the context of a strong and growing economy this two-year increase to wages is an affordable and sensible policy.’

Minister for Employee Relations Damien Tudehope said a $3,000 one-off payment to Health workers was recognition of a workforce that has stepped up above and beyond.

‘The health workforce went to extraordinary lengths during the pandemic and has earned the admiration and gratitude of the entire state,’ said Mr Tudehope.

The Government’s position is to limit executive remuneration increases to 2.0 per cent in the next year.

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  1. What a JOKE !
    How will workers ever be fairly paid, while the government policy is to import low paid workers on ‘skilled migration’ visas ?
    The government have been allowed to get away with reinstituting the Kanaka slave trade with low- paid Islanders, and the farce that it is better to import workers than train or employ Australians who need jobs.
    Don’t try to tell me these scammers don’t understand the implications of supply and demand or the art of propaganda, it’s all in the way you frame these crimes .
    Guest workers / used and abused back-packers /immigration queue-jumpers, any way you paint it , it will keep wages to a bare minimum.
    Cheers, G”)


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