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  Issue No 118 Official Organ of LaborNet 02 November 2001  

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News

Entire Town Joins Nurses' Strike

By Laura MacFarlane

The first industrial action since the Shearer's strike of the 1890's happened in Tottenham, NSW, (population: 390), when their nurses rallied on October 18.

 
 

While 5000 nurses marched on Parliament house in Sydney the 11 nurses of Tottenham marched down the main street to the hospital. Paige Kildare, the only full time registered nurse at the 10 bed, 24 hour a day, 7 days a week facility commented when asked if the rally caused a disruption, "The town's policeman couldn't redirect traffic because he's on holidays!"

Tottenham is the geographical center of NSW - 130km from Dubbo and 130km from Parkes. They have a pub but it doesn't have Sky Channel. They have a hospital but it doesn't have enough staff. That is why the nurses of Tottenham took action with the rest of the state's nurses on the 18th October.

"There is only one full time registered nurse and two who are permanent part-time and they have some enrolled nurses and casuals. 10 all up" said Murray Bean, Organiser for the hospital from NSWNA.

"With that number of people they have to cover three shifts a day with qualified nursing staff. They need a total of 4.2 full time equivalent RNs plus casuals to make the hospital safe and to cover all shifts. As well as cover annual leave and sick leave." said Bean.

The hospital deals with trauma cases from accidents on farms, car accidents and all the other things that go on in every day rural life including "birthin'" babies.

The fact they couldn't join in the events at Sydney Town Hall via the Sky Channel broadcast didn't deter these nurses of Tottenham. They had their "strike" and then they had a barby. And because they had put up flyers all over town about "The What's a Nurse Worth?" campaign, 50 people turned up and three local businesses closed in solidarity with the nurses of their town. To top it off the petition to parliament for more nurses was signed by more than half the population.


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*    Visit the NSW Nurses

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 118 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
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*  Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
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*  Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
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*  Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
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*  Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
*
*  History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
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*  International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
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*  Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
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*  Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
*

News
»  Workplace Blitz in Poll Lead-Up
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»  Abbott Under Pressure to Hold Seat
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»  Howard Double Dip Is Skyway Robbery
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»  Knowledge Nation Boosts IT Skills
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»  Stellar Win in Call Centre
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»  Unionists Barred Entry to Australia
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»  Shier's Famous Last Wordds
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»  Real Baby Bonus for Local Government
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»  Entire Town Joins Nurses' Strike
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»  Some Good News in Orange Squeeze
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»  Train Drivers Call for Level Crossing Action
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»  Posties See Wage Rise By Christmas
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»  Howard Fails To Stem Workplace Deaths
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»  Greenpeace Activist Gets Union Support
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»  Hotel Workers Name Their Odds
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»  Airport Screeners Strike Over Work Value
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»  East Timor Training Centre Copmpleted
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»  NSW IR Act Due for Five Year Review
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»  Organiser of the Year Nominations Open
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»  Activists Notebook
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»  STOP PRESS: Jakarta Shangri-La Hotel Workers Fined US$2 million
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  More on Orwell
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»  The Ostrich Approach
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