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3 min read

It Was Never About the Bikkies

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Health Departments used to provide Assorted Arnotts Cream Biscuits and Tea (that wasn’t the absolute cheapest brand) to staff rooms. What happened?  

We love International Nurses Day. But the work that healthcare practitioners do should be acknowledged every day, in real ways, not just with platitudes one day per year. 

The cute graphics and social media posts can sound like the common birthday card which reads “I couldn’t afford a present so I gave you this card instead”.

This is a story that may be familiar to some members. Nurses, midwives and other frontline healthcare practitioners do some of the most demanding work on site and it was nice to have a staff room with a few treats, for a few moments of respite before getting back into it. It showed that someone in Hospital management / The Department was on your side. They at least cared enough to think you would enjoy a nice cup of tea and a biscuit during a shift. 

Yet gradually there was a change. The assorted creams were replaced with scotch fingers and the Tea became the cheapest international brand (Lipton). Then, soon after, there were no bikkies at all because it was “too expensive”. 

After an entire career of putting a hand up to do the work others shy away from, to be told “sorry, we’re taking your bikkies away” is almost too much. 

Somehow the Health budget has increased, doubled, tripled since then - to a record $24 Billion in QLD alone. Yet there is less and less money available for things that will make a Nurse or Midwife (frontline healthcare practitioner)’s work-life better. NPA Reach Ads 04-05-23 (2)

The government wasted $223 Million on the unused Wellcamp Quarantine Facility in one year alone. That’s 55,750,000 packets of biscuits, or 2 packets for every single Australian - with enough left over for every staff room to have a packet every week for the next 10 years. 

It was never about the bikkies. 

It was about showing the people who show up that what they do is valuable and respected. 

We want you to know that your work does not go unnoticed, and we are committed to supporting you every day. Through best-in-class workplace protection, PI insurance and being the most reliable union in Australia for whenever you have any questions or workplace issues. 

We can’t provide bikkies and tea to every staff room in every hospital or clinic. But we can do something to show members that your union is here with you, in good times and tough times. 

So we’re starting a small monthly raffle. Something you can share with your friends and colleagues in the staff room. As a member you don’t need to do anything to join the raffle - your referral number is your ticket.

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