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Why YOU should attend the statewide members meeting

Why YOU should attend the statewide members meeting

If you’re a public sector member, by now you have hopefully seen notification about the first statewide members meeting to hear a progress report on the 2024–28 enterprise bargaining negotiations. I strongly encourage all public sector members to consider attending. For those who are rostered on to work at the time of the meeting (Thursday 21 March, 2pm–3.30pm), it will be paid.

If you are unable to attend, please talk with your Job Reps or HSRs to ensure that your ward or workplace is represented. This is vital not only because the more members involved in the campaign the better our outcomes will be, but because it is the only way you can ensure that your voice is heard in regard to these essential decisions.

And ultimately, these are your decisions to make because you are the union. Myself, Paul, Maddy and the ANMF staff are here to facilitate and help guide the process, but only you can vote to accept or reject the employers’ offer(s).

To do that, you need to know what any offer is. At the upcoming meeting, Paul and I will report back to you– not just on the past four months of bargaining negotiations but also on any available details of an offer from the employer/government.

You will also have the opportunity to ask us directly all your burning questions, and raise issues relating to the negotiations.

If you’ve never been through an EBA campaign before, it’s important to mention here that these meetings can be an incredible opportunity to feel your power – as a nurse, midwife or carer, and as a member of the largest union in the country. Hundreds of members gathered together, across the state, with signs and placards, all working for a better future. The feeling in the room can be inspiring.

These past four years have been brutalising on our professions. It can be tempting to give into negativity, especially if you have not experienced the power of nurses and midwives uniting for change. I urge you to not to give up hope. We have achieved extraordinary things in previous EBA campaigns, and together we can do so again.

What about private sector members?

The meeting on 21 March is specifically for the public sector EBA campaign. Some members in the private sector have asked about attending – we love your enthusiasm and you may attend though this meeting is only about the 2024-2028 public sector EBA.

We recognise the public sector agreement is the benchmark by which we approach all other agreements (all 250+ of them!), so it can’t hurt to pay attention to how the campaign progresses. It may inspire you to think about what you want to aim for when your EBA is due for renegotiation. You can check your individual workplace’s EBA expiry date on the member portal.

And ultimately, renegotiating an EBA should be inspiring. It’s how we make change.