We need to open our eyes about WorkChoices

Jennifer Harrington, EN at Glen Innes District Hospital, attended the Unions NSW community meeting about the federal government’s industrial relations legislation because she was ‘concerned about the damaging effects of the laws, particularly, AWAs.’

She said, ‘At the meeting I learnt there was a lot going on in our community that I didn’t know about – like people losing jobs and people being forced to sign AWAs.’

Jennifer believes nurses currently protected under the State Awards might be complacent about the new laws. Hearing details about the legislation ‘opened her eyes’ about the importance of Premier Iemma’s decision to protect public hospital nurses.

She said, ‘If nurses, and other NSW public employees currently protected by the NSW State Government, don’t re-elect the ALP in the next state election then we will be handed over to the federal system and there goes our awards, penalties and everything we’ve worked for.

‘I am committing to the campaign by attending the regular ‘Your Rights at Work’ community meetings. I’ve spoken to non members every day this week at work about the legislation and the importance them of joining the union. I have been talking to members about converting their NSWNA membership fee payment to direct debit and have made a point of converting to direct debit myself.’

Tweed nurses voice their protest 

Nurses from Tweed Heads Hospital voiced their opposition to the new IR laws at a protest rally in March at Tweed Heads. Tweed Branch members were joined by around 1,000 local workers and members of the community at the rally.