A couple of days ago I wrote a post about the shameful failure of the Baillieu government to meet the needs of new nurses and midwives by cutting (for the second consecutive year) the number of graduate year positions – a short-sighted cost saving that will affect the provision of nursing and midwifery care in the mid-term (and longer, if this government is re-elected).

I was so incensed by this that I wholly forgot that October 27th is another campaign anniversary – on that day in 2011 ANF Vic. branch launched the first advertisements of the EBA 2011 campaign: Respect Our Work. ANF produced two radio ads featuring ANF Vic, branch State Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick.

The first addresses ratios, which the government promised to maintain and improve:

I’m Lisa Fitzpatrick, an experienced nurse and Secretary of the ANF, Victorian branch. Our hospitals are overflowing, and demand is increasing. Patients need more nurses and midwives. In most cases it’s just one extra nurse per shift, but despite their promise the government wants to abolish ratios – to save money, not lives. Mr Baillieu, respect our work – don’t ask nurses and midwives to do more with less.

Voice your support at respectourwork.com.au Authorised by Lisa Fitzpatrick, ANF (Victorian branch)

The second addresses the Baillieu government’s proposal to replace qualified nurses with minimally trained aides in Victoria’s acute public hospitals:

I’m Lisa Fitzpatrick, an experienced nurse and Secretary of the ANF, Victorian branch. Our hospitals are overflowing, and demand is increasing. If the Baillieu government replaces experienced nurses with health assistants, current patient care levels will fall and patients will be worse off. The State government’s plan is to save money, not lives. Mr Baillieu, respect our work – don’t ask nurses and midwives to do more with less.

Voice your support at respectourwork.com.au Authorised by Lisa Fitzpatrick, ANF (Victorian branch)

It was the first it what would prove to be ANF (Victoria)’s most media-intensive campaign to date.

Based on the approach this government is taking with teachers, who are in the throes of EBA negotiations, Premier Baillieu has learned nothing from his campaign with us. We, on the other hand, have taken every lesson possible from the experience – not only will we be better prepared come EBA 2016, we’ll use this knowledge in the lead up to the next State election. 758 days, Mr Baillieu – and we won’t forget.