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Public sector EBA update #14: Stage 1 protected industrial action starts 7am, Tuesday 7 May

Public sector EBA update #14: Stage 1 protected industrial action starts 7am, Tuesday 7 May

Status of negotiations

As required by the 30 April statewide members meeting resolution, ANMF wrote to Premier Jacinta Allan the following day requesting the urgent participation of appropriate senior government representatives at our enterprise negotiations for as long as required to resolve the dispute.

The Victorian Government has appointed former Fair Work Commission deputy president Greg Smith to assist with intensive negotiations between the parties until a settlement is reached.

Full negotiating days are confirmed for Monday 6, Tuesday 7, Thursday 9, and Friday 10 May.

ANMF has also requested the support of Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas to facilitate appropriate consultation between Victorian public sector employers and ANMF (Vic Branch) officials and staff and members.

ANMF understands not all nurse and midwife managers receive training regarding their rights and obligations during disputes and will deal with industrial action in different ways. It is important for everyone to remember that we need to maintain a working relationship during the campaign and once it has ended.


Stage 1 protected industrial action to commence 7am, 7 May 2024

Following the successful protected industrial action ballot, and in accordance with the ANMF member resolution from the statewide members meeting held on 30 April 2024, ANMF wrote to your employer on 1 May 2024 to provide the required (minimum) 120 hours’ notice of the commencement of stage 1 protected industrial action.

When can the protected industrial action start?

The action can start from 7am, on 7 May 2024.

Who can participate?

ANMF members who are employed by the employer and are either:

  1. Registered Nurses, Registered Midwives or Enrolled Nurses
  2. Registered Undergraduate Students of Nursing or Midwifery (RUSONs and RUSOMs)
  3. Enrolled Nurse students undertaking a traineeship
  4. Registered Enrolled Nurse students (those employed providing nursing care whilst undertaking the enrolled nursing diploma who are registered with AHPRA as a student nurse, and has successfully completed not less than six months of their nursing study)
  5. Early parenting practitioners employed at early parenting centres, whether nurses or not.

(Unless you have appointed someone other than ANMF as your bargaining representative.)

Which protected industrial action starts on 7 May?

Each of the following can commence:

Note that some items do not apply to stand-alone community health services. i.e. community health services not operated by a public health service – see note below)

All workplaces

  1. A ban on members answering questions, or otherwise providing information, as to whether they, or other members, are participating in the protected industrial action, or providing any such information to the employer.
  2. To participate in and encourage conversations (of up to 15 minutes in a shift) about the campaign with media, visitors, patients/residents (and their families), and other staff, a ban on compliance with your employer’s uniform policy or dress code, through:a) wearing of ANMF campaign material, including t-shirts
    b) displaying and/or distribution of ANMF campaign material including badges, written communications and stickers
    c) engaging with media, staff, patients, visitors, residents and their families about the proposed agreement
    d) participating in social media about the campaign during working hours.Any communication with media or social media (members to have regard to s.141 of the Health Services Act regarding maintenance of patient confidentiality).
  3. Stopping work for up to 15 minutes in a shift (to facilitate conversation) to display or use ANMF campaign materials, for example petitions, flyers, posters, stickers, postcards, non-latex balloons, video-conferencing backgrounds, digital avatars and/or props, video-conferencing backgrounds, either:a) by providing these in person, to media, staff, patients, clients, customers, visitors, residents and/or members of the public; or
    b) by electronic means (including email).
  4. Refusing to work in areas where enterprise bargaining campaign materials are not on display or stopping work for up to 15 minutes a shift on that ward.
  5. Stoppages of work not exceeding 15 minutes per shift to write enterprise bargaining campaign messages on the outside of employer-provided vehicles in non-permanent marking.
  6. Refusing to work overtime, unless such overtime is approved in advance.
  7. A ban on sending emails unless they contain the following text:‘Nurses and midwives have worked throughout the pandemic, while experiencing a casualisation of the workforce, and extraordinary difficulties recruiting and retaining staff.The Victorian Branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation is negotiating a new Enterprise Agreement with management on our behalf. We are asking for reasonable improvements to our working conditions, especially our take home pay, given our last wage increase was in December 2022, and like everyone, we have been experiencing the rising cost of living.’
  8. Taking the full period of all breaks (including meal breaks and rest/tea breaks).
  9. Refusing to attend or participate in any management meeting unless fully back filled. For example, if participating in the meeting would result in fewer staff than required by law, or typically rostered, then the ban on participation applies.
  10. A refusal to implement any workplace or system change proposed by management; you are invited to contact the undersigned via if the proposed change (if not progressed) could negatively impact on staff, patient or resident safety.
  11. A refusal to collect and/or enter any data (that is not required by law to be entered into the patient record or related directly to patient or staff safety) and a refusal to record, collect or complete data required by the employer including outcome measures, vehicle logbooks and statistical data.All health services, public sector residential aged care and early parenting centres (not stand-alone community health services. i.e. community health services not operated by a public health service)
  12. Where the employer operates an emergency department (however titled, including an urgent care centre) members will not record, or report on, ambulance offload times.
  13. If the employer operates a residential aged care service, a ban on the completion of any paperwork or electronic forms other than that directly related to the documenting of resident care in the resident care record or care plan.
  14. A ban on redeployment, i.e. a ban on a member being required by the employer to move from the ward (or part of the ward) they typically work on, to another ward (or another part of that ward). Members are free to decline redeployment as they are participating in protected industrial action. Members can agree to be redeployed, but are equally free to refuse redeployment.
  15. The closure of beds (per ward or unit) in the event that ward/unit rosters, including leave replacement, are not maintained and will involve the closure of a number of beds per ward or unit so as to maintain the number of nurses and/or midwives to patients/residents as would have been the case had the absence been replaced.

Which protected industrial action do I take?

Members can take any of the industrial action that is listed above. Your ward/unit/work area should discuss the specifics of what that action may be (such as the particular data that will not be collected).

What do I do if I am threatened for participating in protected industrial action?

ANMF do not expect that any consequences will happen, but sometimes individuals can do and or say things that they shouldn’t. We all have to work together again when this ends.

If it does happen:

  1. Make a written record of what occurred, while it is fresh in your memory.
  2. If possible, contact your ANMF Job Rep straight away.
  3. If not possible, contact ANMF as soon as you can.
  4. ANMF will deal with employers directly and (unless you are happy to be named) confidentially, to ensure you are able to participate in what is your legally protected right.


ANMF contact details

For urgent issues relating to protected industrial action call 03 9275 9333 or email

For less urgent issues or general questions submit an online member assistance form via


How to get a red t-shirt

ANMF Organisers and staff continue to distribute t-shirts at workplace members meetings scheduled between Friday 3 and Thursday 9 May.

We have distributed thousands of t-shirts to members during workplace visits and two statewide meetings and will continue to take t-shirts out to members.

Job Reps are encouraged to be in touch with their Organiser about how many t-shirts your ward, unit or small workplace needs.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a t-shirt yet, there are a number of actions you can participate in from 7am, 7 May. Many members will have vintage EBA campaign t-shirts and as an experienced campaigner we encourage you to also wear these with pride.

If you are in Melbourne, you can pick up a t-shirt at ANMF (Vic Branch) 535 Elizabeth Street during business hours.

Members can now also log into the member portal to order their t-shirt online ($9.95 for postage and handling) via There is a limit one per member and keep in mind Australia Post timeframes.

The next statewide meeting – Thursday 16 May – only if it’s needed

The next statewide meeting will only go ahead if ANMF has a revised settlement offer that we are confident we can recommend to members.

This meeting, originally foreshadowed for Wednesday 15 May, will now take place on Thursday 16 May if it is needed. The date changed due to the availability of buses during the RTBU V/Line members’ strike. We send our solidarity to RTBU members and their campaign for fair pay and conditions.

If there is no improved government offer that ANMF can recommend to members to resolve the dispute, stage 2 industrial action will begin from 7am, Friday 17 May.

ANMF will provide members with further advice closer to the time.

Campaign resources

Campaign resources including the dear patient letter, social media guidance, a Teams background, the log of claims, a link to social media frames and join ANMF posters are available via