ANMJ Featured Story

Editorial Lee Thomas, ANMF Federal Secretary

Thursday 23rd November, 2017

Last month the nation turned its back on exclusion when the majority of Australians voted yes to marriage equality.

The reading of the vote was a momentous victory for the LGBTQI community in which decency and fairness prevailed.

However, tainting the victory was the postal vote process which created a deep division within the community- many endured great distress as a result. Already those within the LGBTQI community suffer poorer health outcomes than others because of discrimination and this is why discrimination and divisiveness must stop altogether.

The ANMF has long campaigned for marriage equality for LGBTQI Australians. Now that the nation has voted we are strongly urging our politicians to support the introduction of a Bill allowing same sex couples to marry by the end of the year.

After months of vigorous negotiations and industrial action, the ANMF (Victorian Branch) and its members are making headway in settling their enterprise bargaining agreement with aged care provider Bupa.

I applaud the strength of the nurses and carers who took industrial action to fight for what they believed in. Building on this momentum the ANMF is campaigning to fix the aged care crisis countrywide including mandated ratios. I urge you to support this campaign throughout 2018. No longer can we stand by and allow providers to get away with putting profits before their staff and the people they care for.

As I mentioned in last month’s issue of the ANMJ, after 20 years in the union movement I am stepping down as ANMF Federal Secretary. Not only will this be the last ANMJ for the year, but this will also be my last editorial.

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful support you have shown me and to the union movement over the years. Together we have faced many battles resulting in some solid outcomes for members and the community. The unwavering support of members to do what is right for nurses, midwives and the healthcare needs of the community has been nothing short of awe-inspiring and what has kept me passionate and committed to the professions and to the union movement.

The New Year brings new beginnings and I know I am leaving the union in good hands. To this end, I am certain the ANMF will continue to grow from strength to strength in protecting and developing the industrial and professional needs of all nurses and midwives for many years
to come.

Lastly, as I sign off my final editorial, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family season’s greetings and a happy and prosperous New Year.

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