|Issue No 106||10 August 2001|
Direct Action to Increase Nurses' Worth
The NSW health system faces a season of community and industrial activity - including the closure of beds - as nurses take direct action to improve the numbers in the profession through higher pay rates.
The NSW Nurses Association this week the voted to run its own Special Case in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to get more attractive wages and conditions for nurses after talks with the Carr Government broke down.
The State Government this week rejected a NSWNA request for the Industrial Relations Minister, John Della Bosca, to initiate an urgent case before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission aimed at improving nurse wages and conditions.
NSWNA General Secretary, Sandra Moait, says Council members are very angry that the State Labor government has refused to seriously address the nurse shortage confronting NSW.
"The shortage has reached a critical point and already led to bed closures and service cuts in parts of the State," Moait says.
"The situation will only get worse unless something is done to again make nursing an attractive career option."
The Nurses will campaign under the banner "What's a Nurse Worth?" and will include:
· the formation of local campaign teams by NSWNA members at each public hospital and community health centre;
· the conducting of strong awareness campaigns in local communities; and
· local industrial action plans that include such things as work bans, rallies and stop work meetings.
"We will also be closely monitoring nurse staffing levels in each facility and identifying vacancy levels," Moait says.
"Where inadequate staffing and nursing vacancies are putting patient safety at risk then beds will be closed.
"If the State Government is serious about providing the people of NSW with safe, reliable public health services then it will take action to get and keep more people working as nurses.
"The Government readily admits there is a unique problem with nursing at the moment, but has so far failed to fully address the issue. It is trying to hide behind a wages agreement, which was negotiated some time ago and never designed to deal with a staffing shortage like the one our health system now faces. The fact is, we have an emergency situation that requires specific, special action."
In NSW public health services, the rate of pay for a general registered nurse is around $70.00 per week less than the rate for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists and $100.00 per week less than other professionals such as dieticians, social workers, psychologists and medical technologists.
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Burmese's government in exile's Minister for Justice U Thein Oo talks about a struggle for democracy that has become a test of international solidarity.
Politics: A National Disgrace
Labor's IR spokesman Arch Bevis gives his take on the workers entitlements issue and its mismanagement by the Howard Government.
E-Change: 2.2 The Information Organisation
Peter Lewis and Michael Gadiel look at how network technologies will change the way organizations operate in the Information Age.
Media: The Fine Print
Mark Hebblewhite looks at how the major dailies handled the Tri-Star dispute and finds that the story really does depend on the telling.
Human Rights: A People Besieged
Labor MLC Janelle Saffin, an active supporter of the pro-Democracy movement in Burma, sets out the issues behind the ILO sanctions.
International: Postcard From Brazil
The CFMEU’s Phil Davey reports on a rural movement that puts our National Farmers Federation to shame.
History: Indonesia Calling
They needed no resolutions. Soldiers and workers who did not know one another moved together, the black ban started to reach out across the harbour from the noisy, smoke-filled room.
Solidarity: On the Frontline
Australian trade unionists are providing practical help for the Burmese through projects funded by APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad.
Satire: Skase 'Too Ill' to Fly Home for Burial
Spanish authorities have deemed Christopher Skase too ill to return to Australia for his own funeral.
Review: Living Silence
In these extracts from her new book, Christina Fink goes inside Burma to find a world where military repression is slowly crushing a people.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005