Meeting so many other people of like mind, being able to work with them, bounce ideas off them and work together to achieve great results has been inspiring. It has allowed me to see that we truly do have power when we work together. That the community has implicit trust in nurses and will get behind us to push back against bad government policy.
My experience of being a union member has been a journey – from not being a member to becoming a member “just in case something goes wrong”, then going to my first branch meeting after being a member for four years to now being a very active member.
Shortly after putting my hand up to become a delegate for the Northern Central Coast branch and then being elected branch Vice-President, we were hit with a government announcement that our Wyong hospital was going to be put to tender for privatisation.
Continued privatisation of government services is something I feel very strongly about. I believe in socialised public healthcare – in equitable, accessible healthcare that is publicly funded and exists to benefit all, without barrier to anybody in our society.
Being a member has allowed me to see there is more than just me to fight this fight. The Association provided us branch members and activists with education and endless support and encouragement to drive our campaign against the privatisation of our hospital. The support of the Association and working together in solidarity empowered us to continue with our campaign, push through our emotional fatigue and push back against negativity. We were armed with tough questions to ask management and politicians and information for our members to give them hope and challenge misinformation and rumours.
Through the union I can now see that we have power to make change for the better. I truly believe that “the people, united, will never be defeated”!
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