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Nurses, midwives and carers march to change the rules

Nurses, midwives and carers march to change the rules

Change the rules rally 23 October. Photo by Chris Hopkins

Nurses, midwives and carers joined 160,000 other workers marching through Melbourne’s central business district on Tuesday 23 October to ‘change the rules’.

The rally comes after ANMF Job Reps supported a motion at a statewide delegates’ meeting on 25 September to send a message ahead of the state election on 24 November, and the 2019 federal election.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick addressed the crowd saying that it was time to change the rules to ensure quality aged care in private and not-for-profit sectors.

‘We want quality aged care and we need a federal government to change the rules and make it happen.’

Ms Fitzpatrick welcomed Premier Daniel Andrews and Victorian government ministers who joined the rally, citing the government’s achievements in legislating nurse/midwife: patient ratios, and building new public aged care facilities after the Baillieu/Napthine government sold off public aged care facilities.

‘It’s only those progressive governments that will give us a quality health system, a quality and safe aged care system,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

Public sector nurses and midwives will achieve net pay parity with NSW colleagues in April 2019, thanks to our 2016 enterprise agreement. However, there is a wage gap between private and not-for-profit aged care, and public hospital nurses, associated with the enterprise bargaining system, that didn’t exist 30 years ago. The current system of rules is also unable to address the wage gap for ANMF members working in medical clinics, pathology and small workplaces.