Australia’s most essential workers might be in for a pay cut

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The New South Wales government is looking to freeze the annual 2.5 percent increase that is invested into the public service sector, a kind of sinister slap in the face to nurses and teachers who have been abundantly praised for the work they have done in curbing the virus.

For a nurse who has been in the job for five years, such a cut would mean a $2000 annual loss. “It’s fair to say our wages policy will officially be considered by cabinet,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“The government wants to say to them, keep going to work, keep getting ready for the next round of COVID-19, but just suck it up with no pay increase,” Brett Holmes of the Nurses and Midwives Association said.

The freeze in increase would save about $3 billion over four years, cash the government really needs right now.

“We employ 400,000 people across the public service, Ms Berejiklian said. “Our priority is, each of those people remain in their jobs.”

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