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Becoming a resolution – the life of a motion

Becoming a resolution – the life of a motion

ANMF is currently accepting motions for the 2024 delegates conference. For newer members, this process might seem opaque, so here’s what it means.

Now three decades old, the delegates conference is an important means by which ANMF members can make recommendations on any aspect of our professions to their elected Branch Council, and to democratically influence the direction of the Branch.

The annual conference welcomes delegates – Job Reps and HSRs – from around the state to collectively discuss and debate motions. A motion is a word for an idea for change or improvement that comes from you: if you or your colleagues have an idea or want to see change in any aspect of your workplace or the professions, you should discuss it with your Job Rep or HSR (or both) to see if it’s suitable to be submitted as a formal motion.

But get cracking: you only have a month left before submissions for 2024 close.

From a motion to a resolution

If your idea is accepted as a formal motion, it will be debated by all the delegates at the conference – representing your colleagues Victoria-wide. Motions that get majority support are passed, and become resolutions. A resolution is an official statement of intent that will guide ANMF’s direction in future years.

Delegates voting on motions. Photo: Christopher Hopkins

Delegates voting on motions. Photo: Christopher Hopkins

Long service leave at seven years

In 2019, Christina Morgan and Jenna Nelson from Peninsula Health submitted the following motion for debate at that year’s conference:

‘That this conference request that the ANMF (Vic Branch) include in the next public sector EBA log of claims pro rata long service leave at seven years.’

At the time, nurses and midwives in the public sector had not been able to access their long service leave until they had accrued 10 years of service.

Christina and Jenna submitted the motion after they and their colleagues saw the success that other frontline services (police, paramedics and firefighters) had in getting a similar entitlement into their EBAs.

The motion was debated by the delegates in attendance at the conference, where it received unanimous support. Having passed, the motion officially became a resolution, which was then included in the log of claims for the 2020-24 public sector EBA that ANMF put to public sector employers and government.

With ANMF being successful in that claim, the entitlement was written into the EBA and began being phased in from 2021. By 2023 it was available to all public sector nurses and midwives at seven years instead of 10.

As the public sector agreement is the benchmark by which we negotiate all other EBAs, ANMF and our members have now also achieved the same entitlement in other private and not-for-profit sector agreements.

Superannuation on earnings under $450

Another example is the motion submitted in 2018 by Erin Klose from South West Healthcare Warrnambool and Lara Jeffery from University Hospital Geelong. That motion called on ANMF (Vic Branch) to:

‘lobby the federal government to remove the superannuation threshold, so that women who earn less than $450 per month can start to recoup the superannuation gap of 47.5% to that of men upon retirement.’

In March 2019, Branch Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick wrote to the then minister for jobs, industrial relations and women, Kelly O’Dwyer, on behalf of members. ‘Our members want to see this current restriction abolished,’ she wrote.

The ANMF sought bipartisan support to phase out the ‘historical and restrictive inequity’ of the $450 monthly income threshold for eligibility for the superannuation guarantee, she continued.

While the Morrison Government initially rejected the idea, further lobbying from ANMF and many others eventually saw the government change its stance and in 2022 the threshold was abolished. The threshold had penalised our most vulnerable workers, including aged care staff in part-time or casual roles.

Submission deadline

Job Reps and HSRs can submit motions for the 2024 Annual Delegates Conference until 5pm Friday 5 April.

Note: As the Branch is currently bargaining for the 2024-2028 public sector EBA, motions submitted for consideration for the next public sector EBAs (both general and mental health) will not be included in the 2024 Delegates Conference but will be included in the 2025 Delegates Conference. Motions to be considered for other EBAs can be submitted for the 2024 conference.