I’ve been a little MIA but my thoughts continue to be with my colleagues who are still fighting to portect their conditions: right now that incudes my Mental Health colleagues (who are hopefully almost done), District nurses (fingers crossed the latest hearings are bearing fruit), and my brothers and sisters in other unions across the state, particularly subcontracted Toll workers protesting against Coles, TAFE educators and staff, and secondary school teachers.

Right now I’m at least as concerned about the thousands of workers in NSW and Queensland who are already suffering under LNP state governments, and who face truly frightening times ahead. WorkCover recipients are labelled “offenders” in NSW Premier O’Farrell’s literature, and nurses/midwives are almost certainly going to lose the ratios they only won some eighteen months ago, ratios that are contained in an EBA that still has over two years to run.

It is vital that we see the warnings before it’s too late for us, too – the ongoing, unprecedented struggles we fought (and are still fighting) for conditions we already had took place under a government with a one seat majority. It doesn’t take much to see what battles we’d face with an unsympathetic majority Party, particularly without a Federal Minister giving moral support.

Next week’s by-election will be significant, particularly given the recent declarations from Greens and ALP politicians about their differences. We’re less than 18 months away from one of the most significant Federal elections in Australian history, and in 867 days we can make the Baillieu government a one-term chapter in the annals of Victorian politics.

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