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Sydney nurse Jess says the main reason she and her colleagues go on strike today is not money.

Nurses and midwives across the city will be away from work for 24 hours today amid demands for better working conditions and remuneration.

Jess told TODAY that she just came in from an 18-hour shift, and that nurses were regularly called in to work longer hours to make up for the shortfall in the wards.

“On a daily basis, nurses and midwives across the state and in our hospitals are working under enormous and extreme pressure than we used to in the past,” she said.

“This pandemic has really exposed a lot of issues that are already in the system but are exacerbated.”

Jess said the nurses were demanding additional pay, on top of the NSW government’s offer of a three percent increase.

“It’s not the number one argument we’re making, but we think we deserve a substantial pay increase for the responsibilities, the extra work and the added pressure,” she said.

“Given the pressure of living, and supporting families, on top of this the premier recently gave all members of his party a pay increase for their additional workload and their additional responsibilities.”

Jess said that there is not necessarily a shortage of nursing, with a lot of graduates coming out of university.

But she said the government prefers to pay overtime rather than hire additional staff.

“We are working consistently low in our department, we can employ up to 10 nurses, and we rely on casual staff to fill vacancies, and many are not trained in that section. That puts staff and patients at risk. puts in,” she said.

“We put our patient’s safety first, so that’s why we’re doing this, we’re advocating for our patients.”

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