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We all remember the very first few days, or even weeks of starting a new job. As the feelings of  anticipation and nervousness creep in, all you can focus on is ensuring you’re doing the absolute best that you can in your new role.


For our Nurses and Midwives, those first few days are usually filled with a lot of excitement as well as many unknowns. Uncertainty about the long hours, the potential shortage of staff that would lead to greater responsibilities and more patients to care for, and unknowns about their rights at work. ANMF ACT Branch Secretary, Matthew Daniel says that from the very first day, unions can help you know and understand your rights.

"We represent you and fight for safer workplaces and better work conditions, so you can strictly focus on doing the job you love."

Unions have been around in Australia ever since the first act of convict resistance back in 1804, and by the time of Australia’s Federation in 1901, the union movement was established as a vital part of national life.

The Australian Nursing Federation formed in 1924, providing a national body uniting the state and territory nursing organisations. Today, the support and protection unions offer make them essential for Nurses and Midwives.

Unions not only play an imperative role in pay negotiations but they are an invaluable source of support in employment and disciplinary issues. You might not believe you need union representation but you never know when you may find yourself needing support. In times of need, being a Branch member can provide you with information about employee rights, support during a complaint process or help if you raise a concern or have other issues at work.

Matthew Daniel continued:

“If something happens and you’re not a Branch member, we can’t help you. If you are, you’re part of a supportive framework that can assist and provide you with guidance on the issues you’re experiencing.”

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In the last 200 years, Australian unions have achieved key milestones ensuring better working conditions for employees across the country. From annual leave, minimum wage, wage increases, paid public holidays, personal carer’s leave, maternity and paternity leave, there’s a tremendous amount we can be thankful to unions for.


When it comes to ANMF ACT, the union has been fundamental in advocating and empowering members in their workplaces. Over the past two years, the Branch has done a considerable amount of work to support members during the pandemic. This includes advocating for greater levels of personal safety for Nurses and Midwives experiencing abusive and intimidating behaviours from some members of the public, advocating for appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE), successfully lobbying for respirator fit testing and continuously calling for timely and practical COVID-19 workforce plans.

Matthew Daniel continued: “We are constantly working and fighting for safer workplaces for our members. In fact, it’s our number one priority. We began the year by having the Public Sector Enterprise Agreement approved and that is huge but it’s just the beginning. We have a lot more work to do to ensure our Nurses, Midwives, and Assistants in Nursing can work in a safe and supportive environment.”


In addition to receiving professional and industrial advice, together with industrial representation, ANMF ACT offers a range of useful resources. As a Branch member, you have many learning and development opportunities including an extensive range of free and low cost online learning courses to go towards your continuing professional development (CPD) hours, and unique leadership opportunities through our Workplace Delegates and Branch Councillors.


The Branch also offers benefits including professional indemnity insurance, and journey insurance, making your day-to-day life easier and safer.


Matthew Daniel concluded:

“The Branch is here to support you in all aspects; legally, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We not only represent you and fight for your rights but being part of ANMF ACT means you are part of a community where you can express how you feel to people who genuinely understand and want to help. That’s why it’s so important. It’s the community you become part of.”