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Public sector 2024 EBA: welcome new campaigners

Public sector 2024 EBA: welcome new campaigners

With public sector nurses and midwives beginning protected industrial action this week, the mood is upbeat, and resolute. Veteran campaigners will be familiar with this feeling – the camaraderie, the invigoration, the determination and, yes, even some fun! – and it’s exciting to see and meet so many new faces experiencing this for the first time.

A big welcome also to our new Job Reps. An EBA campaign often uncovers passionate members keen to learn more about the union, and how we can best support you and your colleagues to defend and advance your industrial, professional and OHS rights at work. By becoming an ANMF Job Rep, you have taken a powerful step in your career.

It’s been eight years since Victoria’s public sector nurses and midwives last took industrial action, meaning this is unknown territory for many members. But the passion with which you have embraced stage 1 actions already, alongside your more seasoned campaigning colleagues, is energising us all.

And it’s working. The message is getting out there, and most importantly it’s getting to employers. It’s important now that we stay the course. Keep wearing your t-shirts, bandanas or stickers; keep decorating your wards and workplaces with posters; keep writing on windows with chalk; keep having those conversations, taking your full breaks, refusing to work overtime, to be deployed and the other protected actions – and keep sharing your photos on social media and with us.

And remember: all these actions are protected. You have the legal right to engage in them. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, or to intimidate you or in any way discourage you, tell your Job Rep or contact your organiser immediately.

How long will action last?

In 2016, members spent a week engaging in similar stage 1 actions before the government and employers presented an offer that resulted in an acceptable agreement with an eight-year wages component.

We’re certainly hoping for an equally short and sharp campaign this time around, but preparing for a longer one if needed. Intensive negotiations are progressing, recognising that members will progress to stage 2 actions from 7am on Friday 17 May.

Keep speaking and sharing information with your patients, Job Reps and colleagues, and keep reading communications from us to make sure you know exactly what is happening, and when. Together, we can win this.