||Issue No. 283||30 September 2005|
Revenge of the Footy Dads
Interview: Polar Eclipse
Industrial: Wrong Turn
Unions: Star Support
Workplace: Checked Out
Economics: Sold Out
Politics: Green Banned
History: Potted History
International: Curtain Call
Review: Little Fish
Poetry: Slug A Worker
The Locker Room
Hrowadís Meixd Msesgaes
Petrol Price of War
Last Long Weekend
Nurses Brush Sick Offer
Despite workloads more than doubling in the past three years and the addition of highly complex work previously done by doctors, five nurses based at Surry Hills and Goulburn get $4 an hour less than public hospital colleagues.
NSW Nurses Association acting general secretary Judith Kiejda said that under the Police Service's pay offer nurses would continue to lag more than $2 per hour behind public hospital counterparts for the next few years.
She said the highly specialised skills required for their job, combined with increases in workloads and responsibilities, meant the nurses were worth at least as much as their public hospital colleagues.
"They work hard, have specialised skills and, in the last few years, have taken over most of the duties previously done by Police Medical Officers, whose numbers were slashed from 6 to 1.4 full-time-equivalent staff.
"The number of medicals performed by each nurse at the Surry Hills centre has increased from around 600 in 2001-02 to nearly 1400 per year in 2004-05. The complexity of these examinations has also increased with the nurses now doing much of the testing previously done by the Police doctors.
"These nurses are now required to ensure police officers assigned to various squads are medically fit to perform the duties of that squad. In fact, the police nurses now perform medical scanning for 20 different squads. This level of work was non-existent five years ago. One of the main reasons is the Police force now takes more officers with pre-existing medical conditions."
The nurses have now imposed a range of work bans that the union says will continue until the wages dispute is settled satisfactorily. The bans include:
- declining to provide any statistical data or monthly reports to NSW police;
- declining to perform filing and non-nursing clerical duties;
- refusing to be compensated for overtime by way of time in lieu and enforce a strict non-work policy for unpaid work;
- not responding to requests for information made on the day of request and all requests must be made in writing; and
- not performing medical assessments that are not pre-arranged.
"There is no doubt these nurses do a difficult and important job and they are worth at least the same pay as their public hospital colleagues," Ms Kiejda said.
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