It’s International Day of the Midwife, but staff at the John Hunter Hospital are marking the day with a rally, rather than a celebration.

It comes as the Nurses and Midwives Association continues its industrial campaign, calling on the State Government to improve conditions, fix staff shortages, and deliver better staff-to-patient ratios.

Members gathered outside the John Hunter on Thursday afternoon.

John Hunter Branch Secretary Rachel Hughes says staff have had enough of not being listened to.

“The theme for today is 100 years of progress,” Ms Hughes said. “Unfortunately, it feels like we’re going backwards.”

“It’s a pretty sad theme to have the way things are at the moment.”

The union is also calling for babies to be counted when it comes to calculating ratios.

It’s understood, if mothers have more than the one child, a midwife could be looking after as many as eight mothers, or twelve babies.

It’s hoped a push for investment in more clinical educators and better conditions could prompt an influx of fresh faces into the sector.

But Ms Hughes says the Government refuses to come to the table and meet them on the demands.

“We seem to be the last on their long list of pay rises,” Ms Hughes said. “[The NSW Coalition Government] gave themselves another ten percent pay rise.”

“We can’t even get our 2.5 percent – they froze that at the start of the pandemic to 0.3 percent as a slap in the face.

“Now we’re asking for, to not even keep up with inflation. Inflation’s 5.1 percent – we’re asking for 4.75 percent pay rise.”

Image credit: NSW Nurses and Midwives Association