I’ve just driven past the Victorian nurses demo outside the Austin hospital in the pouring rain. Gave a huge blast on the car horns, coincidentally had Heaven17 in the CD player with ‘Fascist Groove Thang’ blaring out of the open windows.
What a hoot.
But seriously, the Victorian nurses are taking unprotected industrial action by walking off the job, and are risking fines and loss of pay in a dispute that’s become one of the longest EBA stand-offs in recent times (109 days and counting).
It’s a very public, loud and colourful campaign by the nurses and I think they have strong public support. The issues are around pay and conditions for staff, but also about patient safety and amenity in hospital too. A key demand is no loss of patient-staff ratios at hospitals.
That seems fair enough to me and in the public interest. Popular industrial action like this makes it hard for the state government to attack them outright – yet.
The crisis in the health system will not be fixed by cutting staff hours.
Nurses direct action is the way to go.
I wonder if this might be the prelude to a lock-out, or even ‘wildcat’ action by more nurses.
Nurses pay is being stopped if they do not work as directed.
Nurses are being encouraged to join the industrial action.
Working nurses are being encouraged to donate to a nurses strike fund.
Nurses and Midwives Hardship Fund and community support
ANF (Vic Branch) advises that the Nurses and Midwives Hardship Fund has received, and is continuing to receive, many donations from members of the Victorian community who respect the work that nurses and midwives do, and respect the commitment and sacrifice that members are making to ensure Victoria retains a high quality public health system.
Many nurses and midwives face having their pay docked for participating in the stoppages. Nurses, midwives and mental health nurses who are not directly involved in the stoppages are encouraged to donate to the Hardship Fund. You can do so by:
- EFT payment: Account name: ANF (Vic Branch) Victorian Nurses Welfare & Hardship Fund
BSB: 083 266 Account No: 859680424
- donating online at https://anfvic.wufoo.com/forms/z7p4x5/ using a paypal account
- dropping into ANF (Vic Branch) offices at at Level 5, ANF House, 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne (across from the Vic Market), or
- by cheque or credit card by downloading the form at http://tiny.cc/lw2kj. Cheques should be made payable to ‘ANF (Vic Branch) Victorian Nurses Welfare & Hardship Fund’ and mailed to: Box 12600 A’Beckett Street PO, Melbourne Vic 8006.