Penalty rates: what they mean to me as a nurse

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A couple of weeks ago we asked you about penalty rates – how important are they to your working life? The answer was – very!

Then at the NSWNMA’s annual conference last week, we asked some young nurses the same question. Today we have the first short video interview with Katie, a Sydney RN, talking about some of the consequences of shiftwork and the importance of penalty rates.

Why are we talking about this now? Because it’s a hidden issue in this federal election camapign, with the prospect that if the Coalition wins, they will establish a Productivity Commission that could well recommend scrapping penalty rates (in the name of ‘productivity’!) – sure, that would apply to retail workers in the first instance, but once the idea that there aren’t really special times that deserve penalty rates is breached, nurses will find ourselves struggling against a tsunami that wants to sweep all penalty rates away…

I Heart Penalty Rates is an Australian Unions Action Centre site, where you can send a postcard to Tony Abbott, download the penalties heart for your Facebook profile and download a poster for writing your own reasons for loving penalty rates. Check it out now – and keep on sending us your stories and thoughts about penalty rates too.

Previously on Nurse Uncut: Election issue: Penalty rates under threat

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