The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is pleased to announce a 12 per cent increase in its membership across the Australian health system – rising to a record 249,000 members.
Releasing the new membership figures at the start of the ANMF’s Biennial National Conference in Adelaide today, ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the ANMF was now officially Australia’s largest union.
“I’m proud to report that our wonderful nursing and midwifery family has grown to this membership milestone,” Ms Thomas said.
“Since our last Biennial Conference, we’ve recorded a 12 per cent increase in our membership, with new members joining us from right across the Australian health system, including ENs, RNs, midwives, AINs and nursing and midwifery students.”
Ms Thomas attributed the solid membership growth to the ANMF’s long-list of successful campaigns fought by the ANMF’s Federal Office and its State and Territory branches. These victories included:
- Defeating the proposed GP co-payment;
- Scrapping plans to triple university HECS fees;
- Allowing Australian nurses to help in the Ebola crisis in West Africa;
- Gaining commitments for mandated nurse to patient ratios in Victoria, Queensland;
- Protecting penalty rates for nurses and midwives and AINs.
“The last two years have been extremely tough, with the Abbott Government slashing billions of dollars from States and Territories’ health and aged care budgets, Medicare threatened with privatisation, massive job losses in Queensland’s health workforce and direct attacks on our penalty rates,” Ms Thomas explained.
“But the ANMF has come together and fought hard to achieve these big wins for our new and existing members. It’s put the Federal Government and Governments across the country on notice – that we are a force to be reckoned with across the health, aged care, industrial and political arenas.
“We need to keep the pressure on the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure his Government stops the industrial attacks on nurses and midwives, particularly by trying to strip-away paid parental leave and the protection of our health system.
“The ANMF will fight on for the sake of all Australians.”