The Guardian • Issue #2040


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2040

“Exhausted,” “struggling to cope,” “let down,” “dangerous,” and “overwhelmed” is how nurses have described working conditions at the prestigious St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Darlinghurst and Mater Private Hospital in North Sydney. On 2nd February, for the second time since December, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) walked off the job at St Vincent’s Private Hospital and held a community rally, supported by patients and medical staff. NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary, Michael Whaites, said members were fed up being overworked and feeling undervalued by group employer, St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA). “Yesterday, nurses and midwives took four hours’ protected industrial action at Mater Private Hospital and told stories of working 56 hours of overtime – this is simply unsafe,” said Whaites. NSWNMA St Vincent’s Private Hospital Branch Delegate, Grainne Mahoney, said nurses were fed up being run off their feet, trying to care for up to 10 patients each. NSWNMA St Vincent’s Private Hospital Branch member, Melissa Bancroft Crookes, told the Green Park crowd safe ratios were paramount and desperately needed. “For years, a wedge has been driven by CEOs of the hospital between the wards and theatres. But today I stand here to let Chris Blake know that theatres have had enough. They are tired and theatres stand with the wards. We stand together. We stand united!”

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance(MEAA), has lodged an application to conduct a ballot among members to take protected industrial action at the national broadcaster, the ABC. The application follows overwhelming rejection by Alliance members last year of an inferior offer from ABC management which failed to address critical issues at the ABC. MEAA has applied to the Fair Work Commission to hold a ballot of members for a range of industrial action, including work restrictions, bans, and strike action as a final resort. MEAA Media Director Cassie Derrick said members believed industrial action was the only way to force ABC management back to the bargaining table after months of stalling. “ABC staff delivered a resounding No vote last year when management insisted on putting forward an insulting and inferior offer,” she said. “Since then, management has refused to engage with members around key issues of a fair pay rise that keeps pace with cost of living, removing impediments to career progression for staff wherever they are based, and real action to increase gender and racial diversity and end pay inequity. The past few years have shown just how important the accurate and reliable reporting of ABC news staff is. We can’t let this be jeopardised by tight-fisted management. The ABC has been running on a business model of overwork, underpay, and systemic inequality for a long time.”

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Why Peter Dutton opposes any kind of Indigenous voice: Aboriginal control of their land makes it harder for corporations to rip out Australia’s wealth for private profit.

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