Nurses and midwives honour May Day tradition

Hundreds of nurses and midwives will take to the streets in Sydney’s CBD and throughout regional centres this weekend as part of the annual May Day celebrations.

Recognising the international day of worker solidarity, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will join with other public sector workers, families and friends to reflect on the historic eight-hour working day victory and to highlight current threats to basic working rights.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said with both the federal and state governments trying to undermine workers’ rights, it would take more than a little rain to stop nurses and midwives from honouring the achievements of the global labour movement.

“The Abbott government is pressing ahead with plans to abolish workers’ rights by slashing penalty rates under the guise of a Productivity Commission review and despite several failed attempts, they’re still hell-bent on destroying universal health by dismantling Medicare,” said Mr Holmes.

“At a state level, our government is handing over public disability services – impacting on thousands of employees, carers and their clients – while at the same time they’re pressing ahead with a privatisation agenda and gifting new public hospitals to private operators for profit.

“Nurses and midwives are proud to stand up and fight for their penalty rates, for Medicare, for the delivery of public services and for an affordable, high quality education system.

“We have a responsibility to ensure these fundamental rights are preserved for our children into the future. These are basic rights that were hard-fought for by our parents and grandparents.”

Nurses and midwives will take to the streets in Newcastle, Wollongong and Sydney, marching under the banner ‘Nurses and Midwives: building a better future’. The NSWNMA members will also highlight their ongoing calls for improved and extended nurse-to-patient ratios for all public hospitals across the state.

2015 May Day rallies:

Newcastle, Saturday 2 May – 10am march from corner of Donald and Beaumont St, Hamilton to Gregson Park. NSWNMA contact: Matthew Byrne 0428 267 119 or Michael Kirby 0488 014 646

Wollongong, Saturday 2 May – 10am march from Lowden Square, Wollongong. NSWNMA contact: Mark Murphy 0448 082 768

Sydney, Sunday 3 May – 11am at Town Hall Square, Sydney, then march to Belmore Park.

Download this media release: Nurses and midwives honour May Day tradition

Join over 77,000 nurses and midwives in NSW by becoming a valued member today.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation