Deputy PM shamed into meeting nurses

Wendy Jones, CNC, and Belinda Porter, NE, from Port Macquarie Private Hospital were finally granted a meeting with their local MP Mark Vaile – but only after an article in the local newspaper shamed him for ignoring their request for five months.

National Party MP Vaile, who holds the NSW federal seat of Lyne, is also Deputy Prime Minister.

Wendy and Belinda met with him in late-November to discuss their concerns about the WorkChoices IR legislation.

Wendy said that the MP tried hard to avoid the topic of the industrial relations changes and preferred to talk about the hospital.

The NSWNA members questioned Mark Vaile about the protection of the wages and conditions of nurses who work in private hospitals.

The Deputy PM advised that nurses should ‘see how things work over time and negotiate our needs’.

Wendy said she felt it was a worthwhile meeting and encourages other nurses to approach their local members.

‘I feel now that I have a solid basis for watching what happens with WorkChoices and challenging him on it,’ she said.