Healthcare workers accuse premier of lying about pay rise during strike at major Sydney hospitals

9 News, 31 May 2023

Healthcare workers have walked off the job at three major Sydney hospitals, accusing new Premier Chris Minns of lying to them about a pay rise to get their votes.

The Health Services Union (HSU) and workers are demanding faster action on the state government's election promise to scrap the public sector wages cap.

The strike lasted for one hour at midday on Wednesday, with the biggest industrial action taking place at Westmead Hospital. Others were held at Nepean and Blacktown hospitals.

The union promised patients wouldn't be impacted by the action.

"He is a liar... nothing more than that," HSU member Raj said during the strike.

"This new government was elected on a promise... a promise to health workers that wages would go up," said another.
The HSU is demanding a six per cent pay rise but the government is promising four per cent as an interim deal.

The union is refusing to take part in negotiations for an interim deal, arguing the premier's election promise was for broad industrial relations reform, including scrapping the wages cap.

Opposition Leader Mark Speakman asked Minns in parliament if he was elected on a lie to healthcare workers.

"We have been in power for eight weeks and the argument from the opposition seems to be 'Why haven't you fixed our mess already?'" Minns replied.

The strikes are expected to continue to get bigger across the state.