||Issue No. 207||22 December 2003|
Backs to the Wall
Interview: Robbo’s Rules
Unions: Fightback 2003
Bad Boss: Madame Lash Whips Tony
Politics: United Front
Economics: Looking Back - Looking Forward
International: Net Benefits
History: The New Guard
Poetry: What is the PM singing this Christmas?
Review: Culture That Was
The Locker Room
Looking The Otherway At Christmas
Nurses, Teachers Win Big
An eleventh hour ruling by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission delivered public and private sector teachers a 5.5 per cent interim rise, while nurses ended their workvalue case with a net 10 per cent increase.
The teachers ruling, while a stop-gap as the Commission considers the case for a 25 per cent increase, is well above the Carr Government's three per cent offer and sets the scene for a spirited round of publilc sector wage negotiations in 2003.
Teachers are the first group of workers to commence enterprise bargaining negotiations, followed by fire fighters, health workers, public servants and police, who will all go into wage battle in the next 18 months.
The full teachers ruling, expected early in 2004, comes against the back-drop of threatened industrial action at the beginning of the school year.
The NSW Teachers Federation has warned that the interim ruling cannot be the end of the wages story and increased pressure on the Carr Government to indicate where the increases would be funded.
"The interim increase will be funded by increases to the public education budget, but the NSW Government is yet to commit to fully-fund any final decision," Federation president Maree O'Hallorhan says.
She also fired a broadside at the government for opposing any increase beyond three per cent in the Commission hearings.
No such reservataions for the Independent Education Union who received the full backing of Catholic educators in their case.
IEU state secretary Dick Shearman said the 5.5 percent, payable from 1 January 2004, was a welcome down-payment for significant increases in productivity over recent years.
"The bottom line is the community deserves a teaching profession that has the respect and support of employers - this decision is clearly a step in that direction," Shearman says
Nurses In Pre-Chrissie Win
The decision was preceded by the final ruling in the Nurses Work Value Case, which delivered a 3.5 per cent rise, on top of the 6.5 per cent interim increase previously awarded by the IRC.
The win, after a sustained campaign by nurses, means the majority of general ward nurses will receive a $36.00 per week pay rise. A full-time new graduate nurse will receive a rise of $26.00 per week.
The decision also agreed to give nurses a new legal entitlement to fair and safe workloads.
Mean while, teachers are left wondering how a government so supportive of nurses claim for wage justice can be so dismissive of their profession
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