There is much at stake at the upcoming Federal Election: the protection of our most vulnerable residents in aged care; your penalty rates and working conditions; our ability to conduct bargaining for fair and reasonable wages and working conditions in the aged care and private sectors; and a functioning public health system are just some of the issues most relevant to our professions.
Before you head to the polling booth, it’s important to know how you can use your vote to change the rules and make a difference in so many policy areas that play a huge role in our future, both as individuals and as a professional group.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) has conducted an unbiased analysis of the policy positions released at the time of publication to help you make an informed vote on election day. This week, we’re focusing on an area that can make up to 20% of our pays:
VOTE TO CHANGE THE RULES… TO PROTECT OUR PENALTY RATES
The Liberal and Nationals supported the Fair Work Commission’s 2017 penalty rate cuts for retail and hospitality workers, leaving Australia’s lowest paid workers short by thousands of dollars each year.
These attacks on penalty rates will, unless reversed, create a climate in which the penalty rates of nurses, midwives and care workers come under increased attack.
Labor has promised not only to reverse 2017 cuts, but to amend the Fair Work Act so that awards cannot be varied to cut workers’ take-home pay.
The Greens have also been vocal in support of protecting Sunday penalty rates with legislation. Centre Alliance has taken a variety of positions on penalty rates and at best would be seen as equivocal on the issue.