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May day's ongoing relevance: nurses and midwives have had to struggle across the centuries to improve their working conditions and fight for a better society.

This year's May Day march witnessed a renewed vigour in marking the day to celebrate workers, with many unions, including the NSWNMA, entering floats in the march in the state's capital.

NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said that while May Day was a day to celebrate our achievements as a labour movement, it was also an occasion to reflect on our current challenges.

"We are still all engaged in important struggles. We are engaged in a struggle to deliver safe patient care. We are trying to expand ratios into areas where we don't have them and to improve them in areas where we do have them.

"With the state government's announcement that the new Northern Beaches hospital will be run by the private, for-profit sector, now we have another challenge--protecting our public health system against privatisation.

"It doesn't matter if it is a private for-profit company or a non-government organization--they all want to take money out of the public system for their own benefit.

"The Public Health System should be about delivering services using all of the money available to it for service delivery.

"For workers, the loss of the public health system would be a massive attack on their rights and conditions and their financial ability to survive in a tough world."

The NSWNMA won Inaugural Shield for best union particpation at the Sydney May Day march.

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Title Annotation:May Day March
Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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