The O’Farrell Government now has the power to roll back your hard-fought workplace conditions.
The O’Farrell Government passed a law that would restrict state sector wage increases to 2.5%. Now the Government has introduced regulations that significantly extend this power over nurses’ and other public sector workers’ workplace conditions.
The new workplace regulations give the O’Farrell Government the power to unilaterally roll back workplace conditions including penalty rates, hours of employment and travel allowances.
The only conditions that are protected are those enshrined in legislation such as the Fair Work Act.
According to Unions NSW, the conditions of employment that are vulnerable under the regulations include:
These types of conditions must be reduced in order to get a wage rise above 2.5%. The Government can now also impose restrictions on these types of conditions on employees.
The laws also require that:
All NSW Liberal MPs voted to pass these laws.
As reported in last month’s issue of The Lamp, the Industrial Relations Commission has been stripped of its independence and must now comply with any regulation made by the Government in setting public sector wages and conditions.
Only eight conditions of employment cannot be traded off. They include:
Even the notorious WorkChoices-guaranteed casual loadings and minimum hours of work are now vulnerable to roll back by the State Government.
‘It’s great to see so many different unions here today. It’s great to see so many of us prepared to fight these unjust laws. Just remember: we kicked out Howard, we can do the same with O’Farrell if he doesn’t repeal these laws.’
Luke Marks, RN at Orange Base Hospital, spoke at the Orange Rally.
‘I’m not sure where Mr O’Farrell expects us to find savings in the system. I’d like to invite him to come to Bathurst Base Hospital. Let him see the nurses’ workloads, the unpaid overtime we do every day just to keep the hospital going.’
Lynne Sloane, NUM Bathurst Base Hospital and Bathurst Base Branch President, spoke at the protest rally against the workplace regulations.
‘It’s not up to me to tell this crowd how to vote but come election time we need to remember that our sitting members allowed this disgraceful bill to pass through into law. We may need to vote him out!’
Steve Nott, RN at Dubbo Base Hospital and Branch Vice-President.
There will effectively be a wage freeze for public sector workers including nurses of 2.5%, which is well below the current CPI (inflation rate) of 3.3%.
Rallies for your rights
Public sector workers marched through the main street of Orange.
Picture: Members of Orange Base, Bloomfield and the Riverside Centre prepared to march through the main street.
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