||Issue No. 180||30 May 2003|
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
Unions Deserve Reputation
Aged Care in Terminal Condition
With almost one in four workers saying they feel in danger at work due to a lack of proper safety, the Health Services Union says Australia now has a crisis on its hands.
The HSUA has released the survey of 3,000 members to launch the first national campaign to improve conditions in aged care facilities.
HSUA national secretary Craig Thomson says the survey showed the quality of care provided to elderly Australians was being compromised by understaffing and dangerous conditions.
''People in aged care facilities deserve the best possible care,'' he says. ''But the way the industry operates at the moment too many of them are not getting it.
''Under the Federal Government's cost-cutting regime there are not even minimum staffing levels required to ensure a basic standard of care and safety."
'The union's campaign will include a call for all employers and state governments to introduce minimum staffing levels in all areas to give a guarantee of care for residents and their families.
''Our members have told us they don't have the time to properly care for the residents to the standard they would like to," Thompson says. ''We have had examples highlighted to us where there is only a single staff member in a facility with 50 beds or more.
''Too many staff are working in facilities where there are serious safety concerns connected to staffing levels. When there are not enough staff the risk to the health and safety of residents increases dramatically.''
72Strathfield Joins War on Shonks
Strathfield will give bodgey bosses the flick under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the NSW Labor Council.
The Labor dominated council, joins nearby Holroyd, in committing itself to only doing business with employers who meet industrial relations responsibilities and statutory requirements such as payroll tax and workers comp premiums.
The philosophy behind the MoUs is to drive shonks out of local government, particularly in an environment were the contracting out of services is increasing.
Labor Council assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou says "unscrupulous operators" can drive straight competitors to the wall by undercutting wages, conditions and statutory standards.
"We expect councils with Labor-dominated caucuses to lead the way on this," Christodoulou says. "We will be moving on to the conservative councils but they might require a more aggressive approach."
Labor Council, and the MEU, have already initiated discussions with the South Sydney and Wollongong City Councils and Christodoulou is "confident" both will sign MoUs by the end of June.
Attention is then likely to turn to Marrickville and Blacktown, two big Sydney municipalities where Labor is strongly represented around the council table.
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