Not All Nurses In NSW Will Be Eligible For $3000 ‘Appreciation’ Payment

"What they've been asking for this whole time is mandated minimum staffing ratios."

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Nursing unions have blasted Premier Dominic Perrottet’s nurse ‘appreciation’ package after NSW Health clarified that nurses in private hospitals and aged care will not be eligible for the $3000 payment.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced $4.5 billion in funding for public health last week — including one-off appreciation payments the Premier said would compensate nurses “for the sacrifices they have made over the last two years” — just days before a planned strike of over 30,000 public workers protesting the government’s 3 percent cap on wage growth.

Acting General Security for the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) Shaye Candish said she was concerned that the government’s health package didn’t include staffing ratios, which is a mandated ratio of patients to health staff across a shift.

“None of the nurses and midwives are asking for one-off payments from the government,” Shaye Candish told the ABC.

“What they’ve been asking for this whole time is mandated minimum-staffing ratios, something that can actually change the quality of the care that’s been delivered in New South Wales hospitals.

“It allows for patients to receive the care that they deserve, and the government keeps saying ‘no’.”

The appreciation payments have come under further scrutiny after it was revealed they will be not be inclusive of superannuation and tax, and only apply pro-rata for causals and part-time staff averaged out over the last financial year.

Perrottet’s $4.5 billion plan has also been criticised for lacking transparency, including details around how many existing healthcare workers will be counted in a package that aims to recruit 10,000 nurses into NSW over the next five years.

“We are seeking further clarification from the Health Minister and Ministry, but we have been told that figure does include the NSW Ambulance and palliative care announcements, as well as at least 1600 nurses and midwives yet to be recruited from the 5000 nurses and midwives promised back in 2019,” NSWNMA Acting Assistant General Secretary Michael Whaites said in a statement.