|Issue No 109
|31 August 2001
Nurses Highlight Staff Shortages
NSW Nurses have upped their campaign for wage justice this week by highlighting the impact of staff shortages in city hospitals.
Stop work meetings were this week held at St George, St Vincents and Wollongong Hospitals, all of which are experiencing staff shortages.
The NSW Nurses are pushing for an across the board increase in wages to meet the growing crisis in staffing numbers in the state's health system.
NSWNA General Secretary, Sandra Moait, said the St George Hospital is creaking under the strain of the nurse shortage confronting NSW and as a result has a lot of closed beds.
"It currently only has 530 beds open, even though it has a capacity of 650 beds and normally operates at around 580 beds. It was also unable to open its 32-bed 'winter' ward this year, because it could not get the nurses to staff it.
"Even with so many beds closed the hospital still has around 40 nursing positions vacant and, like a lot of other hospitals around the State, it is forced to use large amounts of overtime to cover many shifts.
Meanwhile, nearly 90 of St Vincent's 860 full-time-equivalent (FTE) nurse positions are currently being covered by casual or agency nurses or overtime.
"Nurses around the State, are perplexed about why the State Government is just sitting back and doing nothing to improve nurses pay - especially at this time of serious shortages, when we are having trouble enticing nurses to stay in or come back to the profession," Moait says.
The campaign continues.
Interview: Union Power
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan surveys the union movement's troubled relationship with Labor.
International: Spreading the Word
Veronica Apap profiles Kamal Fadel and the battle he is fighting for the independence of his homeland of West Sahara.
E-Change: Training for a Wired Workforce
Education is the entry point into the new economy; but the system still reflects an industrial age view of the world.
Unions: AWU Defends Millennium Train Workers
Mark Hearn looks at how a group of Newcastle workers are setting a new standard in the railways.
Politics: Chatting with Enemies of the State
Brazils MST is the largest and most radical social movement in the Americas. The CFMEU�s Phil Davey drops in for a chat.
History: Struggle and Inspiration
Rowan Cahill argues that it is only through understanding history that we can make sense of the present plight of workers.
Technology: A World Without Microsoft
Heather Sharp argues that all technologies involve political choices and moral values. Computer software is no exception, and it is Bill Gates' choices that dominate.
Review: Let There Be Rock
Kid Rock and Beer Bong, Australia�s Oldest Rock Fans review the week�s music and political events from the safety of the bar stool.
Satire: Tampa refugees ask to go home: "It's less inhumane than Australia"
The 460 asylum seekers on board the Tampa freight vessel have demanded to be taken back to their oppressive homelands, which they now realise aren�t nearly as hostile as Australia.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005