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Issue No. 283 30 September 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Revenge of the Footy Dads
The release of the second wave of ACTU TV advertising last weekend continues to take the debate around industrial relations into the broader community Ė and specifically the nationís footy grounds.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.

N E W S

 Brazilians Score at Rocky

 PM Discounts Fair Go

 Centrelink Crashes Internet

 On Yer Bikes

 Road Toll Off The Rails

 Part-Timers in Bank Heist

 Itís Eight Against Eight

 OEA Says Plaque You

 Kez and Rupe Tighten Grip

 Feds Get Blank Cheque

 Rev Kev Absolves Killers

 Turning Business Upside Down

 Stink Over CountryLink Shrink

 Nurses Brush Sick Offer

 Men Make Permanent Choice

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

Postcard
On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

L E T T E R S
 Four Cornered Rat
 Hrowadís Meixd Msesgaes
 Caveat Emptor
 Shop Front
 Petrol Price of War
 Unionist Slain
 Last Long Weekend
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Nurses Brush Sick Offer


Police nurses will refuse to perform on-the-spot assessments as part of a range of work bans protesting a paltry pay offer from the State Government.

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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