|Issue No 107||17 August 2001|
Unrest in Hospitals Over Contracting Out
A bizarre 20-year deal with a private company packaging power supply with labour has sparked industrial unrest amongst maintenance workers in hospitals in Sydney's south-east.
The deal with Origin Energy, a joint venture of Boral and Spotless delivers savings to the hospitals - but at the cost of secure full-time jobs.
The workers are suspicious of the arrangements, particularly because of the climate of security under which th8ey have been negotiated.
The Electrical Trades Union believe 80 maintenance jobs at the four hospitals are to be lost - they are St George, Prince of Wales, Royal Women's Hospital and Sydney Children's Hospital.
They will be replaced with contract labour - despite policy against outsourcing and a minimal cost saving to the Government of $4.5 million over 20 years.
ETU statee secretary Bernie Roirdan says delegates and organisers from the Unions met with the Minister for Health, Craig Knowles, and put to him an alternative plan that would cut maintenance costs by $1.62 million and enhance services.
Roirdan says the various Executives of the four affected hospitals appear to support the retention of in house maintenance services. But he says the Hospital Engineers that have been involved in the outsourcing proposal have resigned or otherwise left.
"This is yet another example of how out of touch and arrogant the State Government has become," Riordan says.
"The Minister and the people of NSW have now lost control over the maintenance costs, energy costs and service delivery standards."
"One would have thought that a Minister with ambitions like Craig Knowles, who appears to have dealt with the Health Portfolio fairly well, would understand the real long term costs of outsourcing, that is, higher costs and decreased services. Can the public of NSW afford to have their hospitals maintained in this way?".
"This is not a fight about using contractors. This is a fight about sustaining real jobs, real wages and proper maintenance standards for what are assets owned by the public of NSW."
Unions are planning a community campaign against the changes and will rally at the Prince of Wales Hospital at 1.00pm, Tuesday August 28.
Interview: What's The Deal?
Labor's IR spokesman Arch Bevis explains how a Beazley Government will rebuild our broken system.
E-Change: 2.3 The State of the Union
White hope or white elephant? The future of trade unions is by no means guaranteed in the networked society.
Industrial: Into the 21st Century
ACTU President Sharan Burrow looks at the landmark deal delivering workers 12 months paid maternity leave.
Unions: The Black Hole
Jim Marr goes inside Stellar to discover the human cost of a management philosophy that says: you are on your own.
History: The Age of Dissent
The Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has organised a Conference on Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975.
Media: ABC and the Knowledge Nation
Tony Moore looks at how the national broadcaster's fortunes are closely linked to the Knowledge Nation Agenda
International: Brazil´s C.U.T. - When Big Is Beautiful
The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in on Brazil´s equivalent to the ACTU, the Central Unica Dos Trabalhadores (CUT).
Satire: Bracks Disputes Cabramatta tag
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has called for a national council to decide on a location for Australia's drug capital.
Review: Globalisation Is Globalisation
In an extract from his book, Christopher Shiel argues that the official Australian perspective on globalisation is strikingly narrow.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005