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Issue No. 265 27 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Hit and Myth
John Howard came to power on the back of a myth about the sort of Australia we had once been; now he is creating a new myth about the sort of Australia we want to become.

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

 Sign or You're Gone

 Unions Back a Winner

 Howard Chases Nurses

 Victims Champ Joins Resistance

 Red and Green Blue

 Usual Suspects Lead Cheer Squad

 Ugly Australian On Charges

 Aussies Longer and Harder

 Guard Attached, Then Sacked

 Doh – Homero Loses Voice

 Bunbury Families Win Payouts

 Double Standards For Dads

 Libs Back 'Illegal' Rally

 TAFE Teaches A Lesson On Winning

 Activist’s What’s On!

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
 LETTERS LIVE AGAIN!
 One Hell Of A Job
 US Fan Mail
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howard Chases Nurses


Nurses will lose nearly 40 entitlements, including the right to "reasonable workloads", under dramatic changes flagged by Prime Minister, John Howard.

Their "reasonable workloads" clause, won by a three year campaign, has been credited with starting to turn around shortages that had pitched the public health system into crisis.

Anne O'Connor, a registered nurse at St George Hospital, warned federal government moves to take over state IR systems and strip awards back to 16 allowable matters would seriously disadvantage colleagues and impact on the public.

"Nursing is a high-pressure job but our award has got better all the time to reflect that," she said.

"Our (state) award provides all our conditions. To lose our conditions would be frightening and it would mean losing nurses. The conditions we have won are very much worth fighting for."

O'Connor specified a range of entitlements, besides "reasonable workloads" that appeared to be on the line.

She pointed out that Howard's slimmed-down awards made no provisions for existing entitlements to uniform allowance, leave, overtime or parental leave.

NSW Nurses Association president, Coral Levett, said nurses faced losing more than 30 award clauses if Howard got his way.

She described their reasonable workloads breakthrough as crucial to nursing's future.

"We know many nurses have returned to the workforce because of that clause," Levett said. "To lose it, would mean nurses exiting again.

"It has taken nurses many years to improve our award. We have more than 50 clauses, setting out our wages and conditions. To strip them back to 16 would destroy the Nurses Award."

Levett pledged nurses would be on the resistance's frontline.

"We will continue to fight for the Nurses Award. Basically, we will fight every inch of the way," she said.


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