On the weekend, the Premier shared a new offer for all health workers with the media. In front of the cameras, Mr. Perrottet announced a 3% pay rise and a $3000 ‘appreciation payment’ for all health workers in financial year 2022-23. This is the first time in over ten years that the NSW government has made an offer over the legal cap of 2.5% without trading off any conditions – undoubtedly the result of members strong industrial action earlier this year. On the weekend, the Premier also announced $4.5 billion in extra funding for healthcare positions across the state.
Members in Patient Transport met yesterday for a zoom meeting to discuss what accepting this offer means in practice. For a full time, permanent PTO, this means an increase to their take home base pay of 6.9% for financial year 2022-23. While this was not the figure initially being fought for by members, it represents a temporary reprieve from cost-of-living pressures. It has also recently been secured that this pay rise will include staff who are permanently employed in all but name, including casuals and staff on rolling contracts.
As the full budget has not been announced and the offer has not yet been formally made to the union, this increase will likely not come into effect until August. However, despite this temporary fix, union action over the past few months has made one thing evident: the 2.5% cap on public sector pay rises must go.
With a state election early next year, this gives members 8 months to ensure that no matter who emerges victorious in March, this draconian policy will be scrapped. As the Premier’s announcement on the weekend was a surprise for HSU members and staff, members in PTS had many questions regarding this year’s increase, the wages policy and how much better off healthcare workers will be following this announcement – including if the announcement of more jobs means an expansion of PTS.
Members in PTS are encouraged to share their thoughts on the next 8 months in a survey here.