Canberra Nurse Fronts Campaign to Protect Penalty Rates

UnionsACT will launch a major campaign to defend penalty rates, with veteran nurse Teidi Chad fronting a series of television ads.

The campaign coincides with Anti-Poverty Week, running from 11-17 October, and brings together unions and community groups to call on the Federal Liberal Government to protect penalty rates.

Ms Chad, a nurse for forty-five years and single mother of three, will appear in crowd-funded television on ads. Her message is that earning penalty rates helped her afford to raise her family.

In the campaign advertisement, which will launch across thousands of emails and social media platforms tomorrow and be broadcast on commercial television, Ms Chad states, “Penalty rates are needed to help you put food on the table, clothing on your backs and just to lead a normal life.”

The campaign will include a week-long blitz and public forum in Queanbeyan, focusing on the importance of penalty rates for everyday workers and their families.

The union movement across Canberra will fight any move to cut penalty rates, the minimum wage and rights at work.

The following quotes can be attributed to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“The Turnbull Government’s attempt to reduce penalty rates will have a real impact on everyday people. One in three workers in Canberra and Queanbeyan rely on penalty rates.

“There is no evidence to show that cutting penalty rates increases employment or productivity – instead it will Americanise our workplaces and push workers into poverty.

“The same people calling for cuts to penalty rates and wages are the elite business lobbyists and conservative politicians who do not rely on penalty rates.

 “Instead of trying to cut wages and reduce conditions in a race to the bottom, the Federal Government should aim to make Australia a high-wage, high productivity nation.”

UnionsACT is the independent peak body for unions in the Canberra region, representing over 33,000 working people.

Watch the ad below