‘We can’t go any further’: exhaustion, refusal, and a careful strike

GONG COMMUNE

A short report on a recent nurses and midwives strike, based on interviews with striking workers by a Gong Commune member, written on Feb 15, 2022.

On February 15, nurses and midwives across New South Wales went on strike. The strike had 3 demands:

“- Immediately implement our shift-by-shift nursing and midwifery staffing claims for safe patient care
– Immediately commit to a fair pay rise above 2.5% and introduce a COVID-19 allowance.
– Withdraw the amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Act that would force workers to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work.”

Late on the eve of the strike, the Industrial Relations Commission had ordered the strike be called off after the state government had taken the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association to the commission. The order was defied and the strike went ahead across the state. Thousands of strikers and supporters turned out in Sydney at NSW Parliament…

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