A quick last post before I vote.
I first started this blog as a series of posts on the then-ANF’s Facebook page, as a way of maintaining morale through what none of us, mercifully, knew would be months of campaigning. The first post I found, tracking back when I started this blog, was December 9th 2011, when there were 1,086 days to go until Victoria voted – and that was all I wrote. Over time those posts became longer
For me, the way this government treated nurses and midwives during our dispute would be reason enough to vote them out – months of stalled negotiation, of saying one thing to our faces but (as a leaked Cabinet-in-confidence document revealed) plotting to remove ratios, skill mix, and introduce split shifts.
For many nurses and midwives, and certainly for me, the calibre of the current government was revealed when David Davis accused ANMF (Vic. branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick of blackmailing us into taking industrial action. We we’re at least as incensed by the slur on our respected leader as on the clear insinuation we’d all done something blackmaiÍable.
Nurse withdrew labour, for the first time in a quarter of a century, and only the third time in Victoria’s history.
Not to win. Not for huge pay increases. Just to get into Fair Work, just to force genuine negotiations, just to keep what we had.
And then they did it to fire fighters – while blocking WorkCover access for occupationally-acquired cancers.
And then to teachers.
And, after twenty-six months, paramedics still have no agreement, and no pay increase since 2011.
The premier’s changed, but the tactics haven’t – delay, denigrate (apparently Victoria’s most trusted profession is comprised of “thugs”), dirty tricks, and deceive.
Oh, there’s no money for paramedics, but there’s a massive budget for ads in every Victorian paper, distorting the ‘deal” on offer, without noting little facts, like a generous super package after 30years service having little meaning in a career with an average five year length of service.
Or removal of protected meal breaks, meaning MICA paramedics could work 14 consecutive hours, before factoring in up to an hour drive each way (with new ‘flexible workplace’ clauses) with no break. At all.
Like nurses and midwives, like fire fighters, like teachers, paramedics aren’t just campaigning for themselves and their profession – we’re all on the front line.
We all see what these cuts in numbers, services, support staff and funding mean for our ability to serve the public.
For teachers that means the long term education, employability and wellbeing of students
For paramedics, nurses and midwives, it means physical lives.
For firefighters it means the risk to their lives to save our lives, livestock, and property.
Today I’m voting Labor, because Victoria can’t afford another term of this government.
Because if this is how Victoria’s most trusted professions are treated, how do you think those with least are treated?
And because I believe that the Labor party, under Daniel Andrews, has vision for Victoria – growth, consultation, respect, direction, and integrity.
If you’re one of the 10% unsure how you’ll vote today, please think of this when you cast your ballot.
Vote however you like, but make your vote an informed one, a considered one.
And pay attention to preferences, because the Right’s complex deals have already created a politician out of 0.51% of the primary vote 14 months ago, and they’ve done it again this election.