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Issue No. 312 23 June 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Striking Out Rights
As Australian trade unionist prepare for the latest National Week of Action, broader consequences of the IR changes are becoming apparent. And they are not good for democracy.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Rock Solid
Bill Shorten gives the inside story on the Australian Workers Union's involvement in the Beaconsfield rescue.

Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Phil Oswald bought up his kids to believe in their rights; so when his 16-year old daughter was told to cop a pay cut she was never going to take it quietly.

Politics: The Johnnie Code
WorkChoices is encrypted deep in the PM's political DNA, writes Evan Jones

Energy: Fission Fantasies
Adam Ma’anit looks at the big business push behind the 'clean nuclear' debate that is sweeping the globe.

History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
The WorkChoices Penal Powers are the latest in a long line of penal sanctions against trade unions, writes Neale Towart

International: Closer to Home
If Australia can forgive its debt to Iraq, why not to Indonesia and the Philippines, write Luke Fletcher and Karen Iles

Economics: Taking the Fizz
While the Treasurer has been popping the post-Budget champers, Frank Stilwell gives a more sober assessment.

Unions: Stronger Together
Amanada Tattersall looks at the possibilities of strengthening alliances between unions, environmental and community organisations

Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a film about racism and retribution, writes James Gallaway.

Poetry: Fair Go Gone
Employers in the land rejoice, for we are girt by greed.

N E W S

 Tooheys Orders a Blue

 Safety Standards Go East

 Libs Laugh At Sacked Mum

 Stoner's Cognitive Faculties Functioning

 Rail Workers Gagged

 Post Delivers Threat

 Elderly Face WorkChoices Assault

 Good Yarn Hits Cyberspace

 Business Buckets WorkChoices

 Hands Off Our Vital Stats

 Telstra Plays Tag and Release

 Multi Yanks Howard's Chain

 Nurses Reject Low Road

 Micks Bone Up On WorkChoices

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Beaconsfield Declaration
As the Prime Minister feted Brant Webb and Todd Russell, their colleagues were outside with a message to the rest of Australia.

The Locker Room
Run Like You Stole Something
Phil Doyle observes that there are some tough bastards out there.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
That fun-loving friend of the workers, Ian West, reports from the red leather of the Bear Pit.

Education
Class Action
Phil Bradley draws the lines between education funding and the current skills crisis.

L E T T E R S
 More Proof
 Fire Up
 Big Dog
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Elderly Face WorkChoices Assault


Nursing homes embroiled are using WorkChoices to slash levels of care to vulnerable residents, according to the Australian Nurses Federation.

The Aged Care Services Australia Group (ACSAG) is sacking 49 Victorian nurses, drastically cutting hours of others and slashing wages, in a move that will rebound on residents..

"Already stretched staff will be stretched even further and they won't be able to provide the same levels of care," ANF state secretary, Lisa Fitzpatrick, said.

The Nurses Federation says ACSAF intends cutting 1042 hours of nursing care a week from five homes it runs in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Moe.

"When you take that many hours away from caring for residents, you have to expect residents in these facilities will suffer," she said.

"These changes are WorkChoices driven."

Aged Care Services Group has cited "operational reasons" for the massive cutbacks.

It is reclassifying qualified nurses as personal care workers in a bid to strip up to $4 an hour out of wage packets.

The private company, which Workers Online understands operates a home at the centre of a sexual abuse scandal, forecasts an 8.5 percent return on shareholder investments.

"Obviously this company is all about looking after shareholder profits instead of residents care," Fitzpatrick said.

ASAG care doesn't come cheap. Some residents hand over $2000 a month, for deluxe rooms, on top of a $150,000 up-front payment.


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