NPAQ has the right to represent QLD Nurses
Before you get too excited about the Margaret Gilbert case, we have won the opening round, but it clearly establishes that NPAQ has the right to represent you because NPAQ is an industrial association (a trade union), the same as the legacy nurses union.
NPAQ members and delegates have the same rights to representation as members of the other mob.
As an NPAQ delegate, Marg Gilbert has the same protections in representing our members as a QNMU delegate has in representing theirs. Q Health just backed down and have agreed not to try and sack Marg Gilbert for doing her job for you. They really had nowhere to move. Either they dropped their blatant attack on Marg's industrial activity as a trade union official, or they risked the embarrassment of an interim injunction being ordered.
The dropping of the Show Cause notice does not give Q Health any longer-term comfort. The adverse action and misrepresentation of Marg's workplace rights to represent you has happened, which is why she is fighting on, seeking the declaratory relief to have that dodgy memo chucked out once and for all and to permanently restrain her employer from revisiting the discriminatory show cause process, just in case they are silly enough to try again.
Now, this reality is not popular with Q Health as an employer. They only want to deal with the union that they choose for their employees' representation. Ask yourself why would Q Health issue a memo saying we can’t fight for you?
- Is it NPAQ does a better job because we put our members first?
- Is it because they know the other mob won't put up a decent fight?
- Is it Q Health will try to override your rights if their pick of unions is the only one at the table?
- They sure as hell don't seem to want a new, articulate and genuine voice of nurses pointing out what needs to change, do they?
But Queensland law now says it is the employee, not the employer who gets to choose who represents them individually or collectively.
By the way today at the QIRC, with a matter between Marg Gilbert and her bosses, in lobs the legacy union (the QNMU) with their high-priced barrister, flanked by an entourage of suits, wanting to be heard. Why are the QNMU resourcing to be heard or intervene on a fight that has to do with a competitor industrial association’s union delegate and her bosses?
This is huge. But there is a lot at stake. If today is any hint, both Q Health and QNMU appear to both want to fight to retain the legacy monopoly. And we are going to fight to break that old-world thinking, and we are going to win for our members because you are the only reason we exist. The NPAQ is all about protection without politics.
There are lots of twists and turns to come but at the end of the trail with a win, you will see the NPAQ name on the EB11. You will see NPAQ name on the Nurses Award. You will see a Q Health Memorandum which said that NPAQ can't represent declared void by the industrial umpire.
Marg is the quintessential career nurse. 40 years of commitment to the caring of patients and their families. Nearly 20 years with Q Health. If they will come after her, they will come after you. So the NPAQ says enough. It is time to fight Q Health until they give up forever on the idea that they get a say in who represents you.