WorkChoices - the future; nurses advertising

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WorkChoices - the future; nurses advertising

The ACTU has warned that if Peter Costello becomes Prime Minister after the next election he would be 'worse' that John Howard on industrial relations. Meanwhile the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has launched phase two of a four-week TV advertising campaign attacking the Federal Government's IR legislation.

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The ACTU has warned that if Peter Costello becomes Prime Minister after the next election he would be 'worse' that John Howard on industrial relations. Meanwhile the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has launched phase two of a four-week TV advertising campaign attacking the Federal Government's IR legislation.

Costello 'worse than Howard' on IR : ACTU

The ACTU has warned that if Peter Costello becomes Prime Minister after the next election he would be 'worse' that John Howard on industrial relations.

'When it comes to industrial relations and the rights of Australian workers, Peter Costello is not just the same as John Howard - he is worse,' ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said.

The ACTU warned that having Peter Costello as Liberal leader would see even more Australians pushed onto AWA individual contracts and a further erosion of unfair dismissal protections for workers.

Costello in his own words

It quoted Costello as saying on AWA individual contracts:

'We should be trying to move to an industrial relations system where the predominant instrument is the individual contract … ' (The Age, 19/2/05)

On unfair dismissals:

'You could have an exemption [from unfair dismissal protections] for everyone … I can't tell you there is any magic in the number 100. If this were to work well people were to say well in the years to come it should be extended to all companies. I would be very open to the idea.' (ABL Insight Magazine, 26/7/05)

Costello will go further

'Working Australians should be left in no doubt that Peter Costello will go further on WorkChoices and take away more of their rights at work if the Liberals win the next election,' Lawrence said.

He said Costello is a lifelong industrial relations extremist who is a founding member of the secretive pro-deregulation and pro-big business HR Nicholls Society.

Lawrence said Peter Costello began his career in the 1980s as a barrister in high-profile anti-worker legal fights such as the Dollar Sweets case in which low paid factory workers who had already been sacked were sued by the company and stood to lose their family homes.

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Nurses to run more aged care anti-IR ads

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has launched phase two of a four-week TV advertising campaign attacking the Federal Government's IR legislation.

It has produced a new TV ad outlining the negative impact of the Howard government's industrial relations laws on nurses working in aged care. The ads will be shown across Australia in the lead up to the 2007 election.

Direct impact

'WorkChoices is having a direct impact on nurses in aged care, a sector where nurses are already well behind their public sector colleagues on pay and conditions,' Gerardine Kearney, Assistant Federal Secretary of the ANF said.

'If WorkChoices continues after this federal election we will lose more nurses from aged care and the quality of care in this sector will seriously decline.'

Nurses concerned

Kearney said a recent study by the ANF found that nurses are increasingly concerned about the effect of WorkChoices on their ability to deliver quality care; with 85.7% saying that industrial relations will influence their voting decision, up from 76% in May this year.

The survey revealed nurses, a traditionally conservative group:

  • agree that WorkChoices adversely affects nurses - 93.2%
  • don't want AWAs - 97%
  • want union membership and representation - 99%
  • want union negotiated collective agreements - 98.1%
  • want their award conditions to remain protected - 98.1%

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