Today marks the three month anniversary of the members’ meeting where Victorian nurses unanimously voted to accept an Agreement that gave us a modest pay increase, including an annual bonus that’s ostensibly for the now-mandatory continuous professional education necessary to maintain federal registration, but which is not required to be used for that purpose, but which really allows the Baillieu government to state they’re sticking to their self-imposed 2.5% increase ceiling while giving us a higher, tiered rate.
Most importantly, Victoria’s remains one of only three states in the world (with California and NSW) to have legally-mandated ratios, and our nurses are still the only ones in the country (to the best of my knowledge) whose workforce remains wholly composed of professional nurses – minimally qualified carers may not perform nursing care to acute public hospital patient.
This importance of this last point can be unclear to lay people, and I’d like to discuss it. I’ve been thinking a bit lately, now that it’s close to being over, about the campaign that served to ignite my passion, and which is the reason for this blog. I know I’ve discussed it on the blog background page, but there I focused more on what led me to start the blog rather than focussing on the campaign itself, or the issues underpining it.
So, in true academic style, let me tell you what I’ll be telling you:
Part 1: background – from the 1986 nurses’ strike to theworld’s first nurse: patient ratios
Part 2: defending the ratios – from our first post-ratio campaign to the game-changing campaign of 2007
Part 3: 2011 – what were we fighting for, and why did it matter?
Part 4: 2011 – the campaign and coverage