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Issue No. 202 10 November 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Governing the Corporates
Suburban branch manager Joy Buckland’s bid for a position on the ANZ Board raises important questions about the way our major companies are governed.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.

Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.

National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.

Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.

Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.

History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths

Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.

N E W S

 Taskforce Sleeps As Cranes Crash

 Scabies, Filth in Upmarket Annandale

 ANZ Jumps For Joy

 Race That Couldn’t Stop Nangwarry

 Mandarins in $120m Disappearing Act

 BAT Stubs Out Junta

 Millions on Entitlements Line

 Workcover in Hold-Ups Gun

 Phoenix Rises … Again

 TAFE Takes To Thong Slapping

 Casual Work Is Health Hazard

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz

Sport
The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.

Politics
The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.

Postcard
Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.

L E T T E R S
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News

Scabies, Filth in Upmarket Annandale


Elderly Australians in an Annandale rest home are infected with scabies and expected to use chairs and other equipment soiled with blood and stains from bodily fluids.

The shocking disclosures came in a report from government inspectors this week, prompting an immediate call for a Senate Inquiry into aged care.

Inspectors found there was "an immediate risk to the health and safety of residents" at the Annandale Rest Home, nestled away in one of Sydney's upmarket inner suburbs.

In a separate report they placed a question mark over the future of the Albury and District Nursing Home, the scene of major standards failures identified by previous inspections. That inspection revealed a litany of problems, including:

- repeated breaches of medication management policy due to staff not being adequately skilled

- hundreds of incidents a month in which drugs were not signed for or given

- inadequate approaches to identified problems including dirty sheets,

- commodes not emptied or cleaned properly, and faeces being found on seats

- management failing act despite being warned that water in showers and handbasins was either too hot or cold

-

- a failure to properly assess staff to ensure jobs were performed safely and effectively

Both facilities face closure unless standards improve dramatically.

The HSU (Health Services Union) said understaffing and "inadequate safety levels for residents and staff" lay at the root of most problems.

NSW secretary, Michael Williamson, said too many facilities had "grossly inadequate" staffing levels.

"How can residents and their families have confidence in a system that does not have minimum staffing levels in place to provide basic guarantees about the quality of care?" he asked.

The Union's national secretary, Craig Thomson, said the Annandale and Albury reports demonstrated the extent of the crisis in the industry.

He confirmed the HSU would call for an inquiry into Australia's aged care system.


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