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Issue No. 173 04 April 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

The Fog of War
As the War Without a Mandate proceeds apace, any notion of a domestic political agenda has become surplus to requirements.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin´┐Żs Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned´┐Żs Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a ´┐Żball tearing yarn´┐Ż so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.

N E W S

 Cole Launches Civil Rights Assault

 Protests Target Arncliffe ´┐ŻShocker´┐Ż

 Commerce Swallows DIR

 Abbott, Bosses Turn Guns on Low Paid

 Fat Cats Should Justify Salaries - LHMU

 Black Humour for a Dark Issue

 Minister on Threats, Coercion

 Bosses Stonewall Union Dues Ruling

 Private Hospitals Pay Out on 15 Percent

 Councils on Hotel Workers´┐Ż Agenda

 Sharon Hammers Israeli Workers

 Shangri-La Blue Ends

 Inaugural Orwell Awards

 Activist Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Culture
Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard
Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

L E T T E R S
 The Rule of Law
 Trots Bomb Back
 Tom's Turn
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Private Hospitals Pay Out on 15 Percent


Wage breakthroughs with major NSW private hospital operators, Mayne and Healthscope, will help bandage over the state´┐Żs nursing shortage.

The agreements, applying to more than 1700 nurses in 23 hospitals, flow on the 15 percent compounding increases secured by public sector nurses late last year.

"Private hospitals in NSW are not exempt from the nurse shortage and, like the public sector, have an obligation to help resore nursing as an attractive career option," Nurses Association secretary Brett Holmes said.

"These decisions make business sense because they should now find it easier to recruit and retain nurses."

Holmes congratulated Healthscope on becoming the first private operator to meet the 15 percent claim and said he was pleased Mayne Health had "finally come to its senses", after initial resistance.

Under the agreements, the private operators would increase wage rates by four percent from March, another six percent from April, and five percent from August.

The increases should deliver an extra $140 a week to a registered nurse with eights years experience.

Healthscope has also agreed to phase-in parity with the public sector across a range of other entitlements, including in-charge and on-call allowances.

The Nurses Association is still negotiating with other private hospitals but the Mayne and Healthscope settlements should open the floodgates.

The Aged Care sector, however, remains a major issue for nurses who will step up their Fair Share for Aged Care campaign.


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