I’ve so often heard nurses tell me that mass resignation is “playing into the government’s hands” that I wanted to remind you all that until we sign a new EBA it is illegal to: work beyond the ratios; use PCAs to deliver nursing care in acute hospitals; roster more than one short shift per ward, unit or department per AM and PM; to pay below-EBA rates; or to alter the current RN/grad/EN skill mix.

There is no pool of trained up PCAs ready to step in (though, see above, they couldn’t anyway), nor overseas-educated nurses waiting in the wings to work for less money under any conditions – and AHPRA registration not only takes forever but they will not be loosening their registration requirements. I know it feels as though you’re just one person, with no power to effect change. But collectively, we can bring this government to its knees. The only power they have is the power we give them – by being afraid, by failing to unite, by thinking about our own short term interests instead of the long term interests of us all.

We have the power. We must act with unity and purpose, now and 2 years, 9 months, 3 weeks and 4 days from now. We’re going to win this!