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Hunter workers continue fight for fair wages

26 June 2022


Hunter workers will join tens of thousands of workers across NSW taking part in strike action this week following a budget announcement that will see widespread real wages cuts for public sector workers.

In addition to pay increases lower than the inflation rate, Tuesday’s budget failed to address key issues facing workers such as dangerous staff-to-patient ratios in hospitals and teacher shortages in schools.

John Hunter Hospital nurses and midwives will attend a stop-work meeting on Tuesday (28th June) for four hours, coinciding with strike actions taking place in hospitals across the state.

On Thursday (30th June) local teachers will gather at Civic Park at 10 am, joining 85,000 NSW public and Catholic school teachers striking in response to an insulting 3% pay increase in the budget.

The week of strikes comes just days after the successful completion of industrial action by RTBU (Rail Tram and Bus Union) Newcastle bus drivers against bus operator Keolis Downer.

The action saw drivers strike for 24 hours last Monday after rejecting the company’s offer of a meagre 10.5% pay rise over four years.

On Thursday, the Union reached an in-principle agreement with Keolis Downer for a 7% increase over two years.

Leigh Shears, Hunter Workers Secretary:
“It is completely unacceptable that any employer, including the state government, expects essential workers to accept real wages pay cuts.

Teachers, midwives, and nurses are all facing enormous pressures at work and these disappointing pay increases only compound this.

This budget will worsen worker shortages and prevent more workers from being able to afford to live in the city they work in.

We should be investing in public sector workers post-COVID. All of society suffers when we let these workers down.

Dominic Perrottet and his government need to listen to workers now by committing to fair pay increases and addressing other grievances.”

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