Tuesday 19th December 2006
NSWNA officers have been visiting the wards of metropolitan public and private hospitals and aged care facilities to raise awareness about the federal government’s IR laws.
The nine-week metro road show will have visited the Prince of Wales, Westmead, Nepean and St Vincent’s campuses as well as the North Shore, Illawarra, South Western and Newcastle areas by the end of December.
NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes said that with the High Court decision over the federal government’s IR laws legitimising Canberra’s grab for power over the workplace, the state election in March will now be a pivotal moment, especially for public hospital nurses.
‘We believe public hospital nurses need to be aware of the impact the federal IR laws will have on their pay and conditions if they are to make an informed decision at the state election. Just because the Iemma government has made them into crown employees doesn’t mean there is any room for complacency,’ he said.
Brett said the Association was also using the road show as an opportunity to encourage members to switch to direct debit payment of their union fees.
‘This is an important measure to protect the union. It removes any possibility that employers could impede the resources we need to operate effectively as a union,’ he said.
The road show has been a chance for hundreds of nurses, such as Mark Hope to join the association.
‘I’ve been meaning to join for sometime. When the Association staff came to visit it was great to have a face-to-face discussion about why I should join the union,’ he said.
Mark said he appreciated the workplace visit because it was ‘a more personal service’.
Brett Holmes said the roadshow was also a great way for members to outline their local issues to the Association.
‘It has been important to listen to the views of nurses on the current issues facing the profession. These include the nurse shortages, workloads, pay and conditions and funding.’