In our last email to you, we advised that NSW Health was required to provide a proposal on Award reform to us by 28 February, which we could then consult with our members on.
We are disappointed to report that at an urgent listing before the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), NSW Health requested and was granted an extension on this proposal. The matter has been listed for another Report Back before the IRC on 20 April 2023.
We did NOT consent to this extension, given that NSW Health has had sufficient time to formulate their proposal. There is a significant urgency to address the staffing concerns at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and across NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian ran detailed media reports on this crisis on Monday.
NSW Health has been granted this extension because they don’t have the Government’s approval for any employee-related costs and will be unlikely to get approval given that caretaker arrangements are starting on 3 March 2023 in anticipation of the State Election held on 23 March.
The decision to delay Award reform is purely political. The NSW Government does not want to be seen as making any exceptions to its unfair wage cap, and they have refused to approve the employee-related costs needed to deliver a better Award. They remain wedded to the 2.5%cap, preventing a resolution to the staffing crisis across our health services.
We believe the NSW Government needs to hear first-hand from doctors that this is unacceptable.This is why we have written an open letter to the NSW Governmentthat we want you and all your colleagues to sign.