It’s been a very active start to the year, and I have been thrilled to see our members taking the bull by the horns.
One of the highlights of the last few months for me has to be the statewide strike on 7 April. Members in NSW Health eagerly took part in action all around NSW, from tiny rural hospitals to large metro facilities. We had some pretty dreadful weather in some places but no one was deterred! I was so pleased to see members standing up to this government and having a say.
The fact of the matter is, we’ll get nowhere unless we campaign hard and keep going. Members in every area of this union are fighting for better, but it’ll never be given to us on a platter.
In March, Gerard and I visited members in Northern NSW who had been affected by the horrendous floods in that area. It was a very emotional and humbling experience to hear our members’ stories. Some had lost everything. I’m so pleased the HSU can support members struggling in situations like these – it shows that our Union is a family, not just a group of people working in the same jobs.
I am very much looking forward to presenting at this month’s upcoming HSU Conference. This will be the first time we’ve showcased the work of our Indigenous Development Committee, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work they’ve achieved in supporting communities and promoting cultural understanding.
I’ll also be talking about the HSU Social Agenda. We’ve always stressed how important it is for the Union to function socially as well as industrially, so this is a vital string to our bow. I’ll be presenting to delegates about the union’s Welfare Fund, the Indigenous Development Committee, and the services available to members at Foundation House, which helps people struggling with alcohol, drugs or gambling.