What nurses say on IR

Kath Cheney, RN, Justice Health

‘Labor’s IR policy is better than John Howard’s industrial laws’

Labor’s IR policy is better than John Howard’s industrial laws. It would leave us better off. Nurses can’t work under these new laws. We can see in aged care how AWAs have been disastrous for nurses.

In justice health it is difficult to get staff. If we had AWAs, without penalty rates, shift rates or night shift loading, you wouldn’t get anybody. The health system would be a mess. Outside health it’s a debacle. I’ve had friends who have had AWAs plonked in front of them and told to take it or leave it. This has been done without notice, without having the opportunity to discuss it with their families.

With Howard, it’s just lies, lies and more lies. His changes are just a pre-election stunt to soften people up. I’ve been a Liberal voter pretty well all my life. But this time I feel very strongly about not voting Liberal.

Last year I went to the USA where they have these sorts of laws. I asked a young woman working at a check out at Walmart – on a Saturday afternoon – what she was paid. $6 an hour! I thought at the time, that’s what Howard is trying to do here.

Sarah Wallace, AiN, Abbey Nursing Home

‘Movie tickets in return for penalty rates is no good to me’

I feel devastated by Howard’s workplace laws. We’d lose money out of it. I think they are rotten. And when he says he’s listened and changed them I don’t trust him one bit. I have no faith in him, He’s lied too much and then let us down. And he’s done it once too often.

I’m hoping the ALP’s policy will be good for us. I want to see fairness in the workplace. We’re not taking any money from the employer that we’re not entitled to. We’re not getting much now.

Getting things like movie tickets – as they’ve suggested with the changes – in return for penalty rates is no good to me. I don’t go to movies. What I need is a fair day’s pay. I can’t figure out how they could compensate me for losing my penalty rates with something like a movie ticket. That’s stupid. I just want my wages. I do night shift and penalty rates are so important to make it worthwhile.

Ann Fletcher, CNS, Albury-Wodonga Private Hospital

‘We’ll be wiser this time around’

I am against the laws John Howard has brought in. I’ve had my kids working at KFC and restaurants and seen how bad they were treated. It’s wrong.

Howard has acknowledged that WorkChoices is not going to be an election plus. But I don’t trust him with his changes.

I find the ALP’s policy great. In private hospitals we want to be able to stick together – it is already a fight to get what you deserve. I feel sorry for those working in nursing homes. They’re not big employers and it’s hard to bargain with a small workforce.

If they spend a whole lot of money on advertising to sell these changes, like they say they will, it will be disgraceful. The first time around they tried to sell something that was wrong. We’ll be wiser this time around.