Monday 23rd June 2008
Moving tributes and deep concerns on saveournurses.com.au
The NSWNA has not only taken our public health system pay and conditions campaign into the lounge rooms of the state via our TV campaign. We have also set up our stall in cyberspace with a special campaign website – www.saveournurses.com.au – and a dedicated page on the social networking website Facebook.
NSWNA Assistant Secretary Judith Kiejda said she was overwhelmed by the response from the community and nurses on the web.
‘So many people have made a significant effort to log on to these websites to show their support for our campaign. It is very moving to read the experiences of both nurses and the public and the deep mutual respect they have for each other and the serious concerns everyone holds about our public health system,’ she said.
‘Morris Iemma and everyone else in the State Government should take note and act.’
What you can do online to build our campaign
The NSWNA has three web initiatives in play to help us build our campaign: www.saveournurses.com.au
You can post your own message of support for the campaign. There is a ‘Send to a Friend’ function on the site, which allows you to let other people know about the site and encourage them to participate. There is also a clip of our TV ad that you can play.
The NSWNA has created a campaign information group on Facebook. If you are a Facebook user join the group by searching for Fair Conditions, Fair Pay, Nurses Stay, It’s that Simple in the groups application – or go to www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24057856064 and invite your friends to join our campaign.
The NSWNA’s main website has the latest information including media releases, campaign news and resources. You can also join the union online!
Change your world and have some fun
Kate Lee, a NSWNA Bargaining Campaign Officer, set up a campaign information group on Facebook to tap into the burgeoning online social network and make it work in the interests of NSW nurses and midwives.
‘Our presence on Facebook allows a younger audience, who interact differently to other parts of our membership, to get involved.’ she said.
‘There is a space for discussion. They can put up photos of themselves involved in campaign activities. They can share experiences – what it is like in their workplace and how they can change it. They can tell others, forward information and get them involved.’
Kate said the response had been fantastic. As The Lamp went to press there were 3,000 supporters, joining at the rate of 100 per day.
There is now a competition with weekly prizes for the best photo of a campaign activity.
Community and nurses in step over pay and conditions
www.saveournurses.com.au has been inundated with messages of support from nurses and the public for our campaign to improve the pay and conditions of NSW nurses and midwives. As The Lamp went to print, there had been more than 1,260 posts. Here’s what some people had to say:
My wife gave birth three weeks ago at the Royal Hospital for Women and she had quite a tough time. I can’t praise the nurses and midwives enough for the care and attention they gave her. I was quite embarrassed that I probably earn three or four times their salary for doing nothing more than making a rich bank a little richer, while they are making a real difference to peoples’ lives and not being rewarded for it.
I am a Registered Nurse working out of the profession. I miss it so much, but considering the hours, conditions and pay, I cannot go back to it, which makes me very sad. It is the only job I ever wanted to do.
As a senior RN I have never seen so many colleagues thinking about leaving the public health system. At a time when the demands on us are increasing, it would make a lot of sense to give us a wage and conditions that reflect the dedication and professionalism that nurses maintain 24/7.
I have always been proud to call myself a nurse and cannot imagine doing any other job. But, 10 years in, and I’m feeling the pinch. Working full-time, raising small children, paying the mortgage and child care – the list could go on. Add to this the knowledge that we are not being paid appropriately for our dedication and commitment to our profession and it really hurts.
The basic question that needs to be addressed is that no-one wants to be a nurse anymore. And why would they? Who wants to work that hard, under continally increasing levels of stress, in a labouring system for so little reward.
Having previously worked as a junior doctor in our hospital system I have witnessed the hard work of our nurses and how under-rewarded they are. I have seen many good nurses leave the system out of frustration. Our Government needs to do all it can to hold on to nurses. They also need more support staff to free them up to do what they have been trained to do.
From my experience nurses are the living face of Australia’s health system and do a brilliant job. The entire health edifice would crumble without them. They are overworked
and underpaid and it is to Australia’s shame as a wealthy nation that this situation exists. Nurses deserve our respect and they deserve our support.
I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about the nurses and the unfair way they are treated. They should be put up on a pedestal, with all the hard, selfless work they do. They deserve so much more, and it is about time that we do something about it.
I think our society preys on the goodwill of its more altruistic members, but we can only get away with short changing nurses for so long before we start to feel the effects ourselves. Federal Labor take note, reforming the health system should start with our nurses.
I work as a night radiographer in the NSW public system. I see the pressure that nurses in the public system face every night, not just with having to deal clinically with emergency situations, but also having to put up with abuse by aggressive patients, their friends and families.