Australia

Why ANF boss has caused outrage among nurses, midwives

Australian Nursing Federation chief executive Mark Olson would not have expected to be showered in bouquets at the union’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

After all, he had been booed out of a Fiona Stanley Hospital auditorium packed with 400 of his angry members less than 24 hours earlier.

But even he might have been surprised by the volume of brickbats hurled his way at a truly farcical AGM.

Coming hot on the heels of the ANF’s in-principle agreement to the McGowan Government’s fourth and “final” wages offer, the meeting was an opportunity for nurses and midwives to continue to vent what has been a remarkable outpouring of anger.

It is now clear many — perhaps even a majority — view the ANF’s decision to provisionally accept the deal and call off a wave of public hospital strikes with less than 24 hours notice as nothing short of capitulation.

Their fury has its genesis in the October 12 mass rally of around 2000 members — organised by Mr Olson — at which nurses were permitted to move motions from the floor upping the union’s pay demand to a 10 per cent wage hike and $4500 one-off cash bonus.

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