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  Issue No 122 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 December 2001  

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News

Overtime Deal Helps Rural Hospitals


In a significant breakthrough for many rural hospitals, the NSW Health Minister, Craig Knowles, has agreed to a New South Wales Nurses Association request that overtime be paid to nurse managers in short-staffed small hospitals.

Senior nurse managers, including directors of nursing, are normally excluded from overtime payments because their salaries are set with a view to the overall responsibilities of their job.

NSWNA General Secretary, Sandra Moait, said this traditional arrangement has caused problems in many rural hospitals where nurse managers are often called on to provide clinical care outside their normal working hours.

"Staffing levels in smaller hospitals and the demands of such things as ambulance escorts means clinical nurses are often in short supply, especially on evening and night shifts. Nurse managers often have to fill the gaps and they have not been paid for doing it. This has put a lot of pressure on these nurses and made it hard to recruit and retain senior nurses in rural areas.

"The fact senior nurses can now be paid overtime in certain circumstances is a major morale boost for these nurses and greatly assists rural hospitals. The NSWNA and its rural members are grateful to Craig Knowles and the Health Department for their ready agreement on this matter," Ms Moait said.

Under the NSWNA-State Government agreement, which has now been ratified by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and will take effect from 1 January 2002, nurse managers can receive overtime payment if they:

work in a small hospital that does not employ nurse managers to supervise nursing services on evenings, nights and/or weekends;

are required to work overtime because the hospital has insufficient nursing staff; and

are required to work overtime to personally provide hands-on clinical care of patients.


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*    Visit the NSW Nurses

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*   Issue 122 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Reality Bytes
Labor's IT spokeswoman Kate Lundy on how a third Howard Government will hurt the IT industry.
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*  Unions: My Way or the Highway
Since 1997, workers employed by Serco/Great Southern Railways, have been locked in a struggle with their employer to have their choice of industrial instrument recognised.
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*  Legal: Three Degrees of Contract
Marian Baird argues there is a need to more fully understand what workers, employers and our society expect from the employment relationship.
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*  International: Bogota Terror
The assassination of a Colombian unionist has prompted international outrage.
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*  History: Freedom or 'Federation'?
Mark Hearn and Greg Patmore argue that the journey to federation was not a one-way street.
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*  Health: Wearing the Right Genes to Work?
Matt Brooks tracks the DNA trail to discover genetic testing in the workplace is already here.
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*  Satire: Demidenko Releases New Book About Her Life As Afghan Refugee
Controversial author Helen Demidenko has written a brand new novel based on her gripping true life experiences as an Afghan refugee.
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*  Review: Can Blinky Bill Save Unions?
Neale Towart browses the kiddies' shelves to find an Australian icon with a union-friendly message.
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News
»  Unions Raise Labor Stakes
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»  Standards Breakthrough in Call Centres
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»  Hotel Cleaners Told: Bring Your Own Mops
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»  Corporate Giant Sponsored IT to India Report
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»  New Front in Battle for Compo Rights
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»  Progress in Email Privacy Push
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»  Christmas Progress on Sweatshops, Truckies
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»  BHP Steel Workers Fight for Security
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»  Union Concerned At New ASIO Powers
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»  Workers Call for Patrons Before Pokies
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»  Overtime Deal Helps Rural Hospitals
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»  Writers in New Chapter for Unionism
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»  CFMEU Backs Standards Inquiry
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»  Mining Company Moves To Ban Fiji Film
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»  Unions Choir Sings Up Storm
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»  2002: Where to Now?
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»  Activists Notebook
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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
»  Apology to Tim Harcourt
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»  Tom is Gobsmacked
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»  Who was Gordon Freeth?
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»  More Compo Feedback
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»  Trains of Treasure
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»  The Great Tuckpointer Debate Revived
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