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Issue No. 262 06 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Rights and Wrongs
Something unseasonal and hitherto untoward has been occurring up at Macquarie Street in recent weeks, a flurry of legislative activity around workers rights.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called “ Make Poverty History”.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.

N E W S

 Harmer FACS Families

 Brats Drive Bus Row

 Harsh Reality – Bella Turns Pink

 Rev Kev Blesses Bosses

 Workers Online Legit

 Howard Rides Kiwi Model

 Della Opts for Gaol

 Feds in the Dock

 Carr Race to Bottom

 Bosses Walk on Water

 Govt Gets Claws into Nurses

 Ion Faces Legal Probe

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

L E T T E R S
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News

Govt Gets Claws into Nurses


Nurses and ambulance workers are planning stoppages in a bid to prevent the state government clawing back work value gains.

Both groups won special increases, in the IRC, reflecting historical under-valuing of their contributions to NSW health but, because of that, government now wants them to cop lower increases than other public sector employees.

The Nurses Association and United Services Union (USU) argue such an arrangement would put their members back where they started.

NSW Ambulance Service clerical delegate, Jeff Green, says workmates won't stand by and watch communications assistants discriminated against.

"We are going to stand up to the Health Department and show them what we believe in," he said. "If this issue is not resolved satisfactorily our members will take industrial action."

The health department is offering workers four percent annual movements over the next four years, but insisted that nurses and communications assistants settle for three percent in the first year.

It also wants the first increase held back an additional six months.

Nurses in NSW hospitals are halfway through a round of meetings where votes are being taken on a possible stoppage this Wednesday.

"The case for nurses getting the same four percent per year rise as everyone else is perfectly reasonable," Association secretary Brett Holmes says. "In fact, it is integral to maintaining nursing as an attractive career option.

"Nurses are appalled that the state government is trying to clawback much-needed gains made in recent years."


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