Regional resistance builds

The strength of feeling in regional areas about the federal government’s new IR changes was evident with a solid turnout to a recent NSWNA seminar in Murwillumbah.

Thirty-three nurses working in aged care came to Murwillumbah from all over the Northern Rivers area including Tweed Heads. A carload of nurses even made the two-hour trip from Casino to talk about how the federal IR changes and other issues in aged care will impact on nurses.

Brian Bruce, an AIN at Amaroo Nursing Home, says the meeting focussed his thinking on workplace issues.

‘At the moment my employer is still paying us under our award. I don’t think we are in immediate danger but you’ve got to look down the track at what might happen in say three years,’ he said.

‘The meeting gave me some ideas about how we might address the problems arising from the federal IR changes.

‘We had eight branch members at the meeting. It was fantastic to hear the young people discussing the issues and what we could do about it. There was a lot of enthusiasm.’

Brian says nurses still have some sway because of the nursing shortage but he sympathises with other professions.

‘When you look at builders, electricians and workers in tourism – they are being crucified by the new laws. I feel sorry for them. They are vulnerable in regional areas.’