||Issue No. 356||21 December 2006|
Interview: The Terminator
Industrial: Vive La Resistance
Unions: Breaking News
History: Seven Deadly Sins
Economics: Back to the Future
Politics: Organising and Organisations
International: Web Retrospective
Review: Shock Therapy
All the Best
Hospital Staff Prescribe Radical Surgery
Workers at Nepean Hospital, the biggest workplace in the federal marginal seat of Lindsay have set up a campaign committee that this week presented NSW Premier, Morris Iemma with a petition of more than 2,000 signatures.
The Nepean Hospital group is running the first workplace-based Rights At Work campaign in Australia. With a 3000 strong workforce and hundreds of patients and their families moving through each week, the potential for campaigners is extraordinary.
"This issue affects the whole community and we're determined to do something about it," says nurse Jason Mullavey.
"If our award conditions were abolished we'd lose not only penalty rates, shift loading, pay and conditions but provisions governing reasonable workloads designed to ensure quality care for patients."
Servicing communities in marginal state and federal seats in Western Sydney, Nepean Hospital workers are also worried about what a Liberal-led state government will do.
"We've already heard they're going to cut thousands of public sector workers and hand over state IR powers to the Howard Government," says Linda Everingham in Emergency.
"As a working mum with two small children, I work weekends at the hospital to earn penalty rates that help pay the bills. Now I'm hearing my job is in the firing line and my wages and conditions could be cut."
John Robertson, secretary of Unions NSW says campaign committees like this one will be a key factor in the outcome of upcoming state and federal elections.
"Two thousand informed and trusted health workers having one on one conversations about the impact of these changes are going to touch many more people than John Howard and his million dollar ad budget ever could.
"These are regular hard working nurses, doctors, ambulance officers and other health professionals who have probably never done anything political in their lives but to them, this particular issue is just too important."
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