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Issue No. 216 16 April 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Joining the Dots
At first blush there appears little connection between the Howard Government’s handling of the War on the union movement and the War on Iraq – until you realise the key players come from the same team.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Terror Australis
The Howard Government has just discovered the nation's ports are a terrorist target. The International Transport Federation's Dean Summers has been warning them for years.

Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Hidden in the Australian Workers Union Sydney office is a mild-mannered industrial officer who once strutted the international cricket stage, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: The Hell of Troy
On the basis of a couple of hours in the witness box, Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole described Troy Stratti as "credible". Six men who, together, have known the company director for the best part of 50 years beg to differ.

Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Traditional unions are rediscovering the power of grassroots organising. Paddy Gorman reports from the coal face.

Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
Evan Jones argues that economic policy making has been narrowed and rendered mechanistic and antiseptic.

History: Vicious Old Lady
Despite its Liberal leanings, the Sydney Morning Herald has never been shy of bashing unions, writes Neale Towart.

International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Thailand must end its crackdown on Burmese fleeing rights abuses in their military-ruled homeland, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Review: War Unfogged
Want to go to war but not sure where to start? Look no further than Errol Morris' latest doco-drama for the definitive 11-step lesson plan, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: TAFE
A TAFE student struggling under the weight of fees shares his wordly wisdom

N E W S

 Weekend Warrior Outed

 Dick’s Got Form

 Mum Burned By "Barbecue Stopper"

 RSL Bombs Vets

 Sweetener for Sugar Pills

 Death Highlights Risky Business

 Casual Affair On The Buses

 Athens Update: Dying Games

 Nuns Run Amok in Cessnock

 Roving Commission for Safety Reps

 Workers Order Ziggy on Toast

 Divers Down

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

Postcard
A Voice for Peace
Palestinian trade union leader calls on militants to lay down their arms while the ICFTU protests harassment of Palestinian union leader.

The Soapbox
The Double Standard Bearers
Nicholas Way argues that when it comes to collective action, the Howard Government has different views depending on whether you are a unionist or a small business.

The Locker Room
The Fine Print
While the result mightn’t be everything, it does make the back of the newspaper more interesting, as Phil Doyle reports.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Ian West crunches the numbers in Macquarie Street and finds virtue in deficit.

L E T T E R S
 Sick Pay
 Tom’s A Furphy
 Rolling in Clover
 More War And Peace
 Invisible Workers
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Nuns Run Amok in Cessnock


Catholic nuns have put the knife into nursing hours at a recently-privatised aged care facility, including its dementia unit.

Nurses are resisting a bid by the Little Company of Mary to lose 88 nursing hours a day from their Calvary home at Cessnock, known under state government administration as Allandale.

The NSW Nurses Association was contesting the latest cutbacks in the IRC at Newcastle, last week.

Acting secretary, Judith Kiejda, said the latest cuts had left nurses in a number of the facility's units "struggling to provide mimimum care".

"Staff report increasing adverse incidents affecting residents and themselves," Kiejda said. "They are going home exhausted and many are actively looking for alternative jobs."

The 88-hour cutbacks followed massive staffing cuts when the Little Company of Mary took over the facility last year.

Calvary currently has 281 residents, including a 96-bed dementia unit. Night shift staffing at each of four dementia lodges has been halved, with only one Aid In Nursing rostered to care for 24 patients in each.

"It is outrageous that only one AIN is left to care for 24 people with dementia throught the night," Kiejda said. Unfortunately, that is what aged care in Australia has come to in recent years."

Since the latest cuts took effect in February, stats on resident falls have increased. Two nurses have been injured in the dementia unit and two others have been hurt in general lodges.


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