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Howard Government attacks nurses, teachers, academics and carers.



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FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WORKPLACE RELATIONS

6 November 2003

Howard Government attacks nurses, teachers, academics and carers

Australia’s nurses, teachers, academics and carers are the stated targets of the Howard Government’s latest legislative assault on the pay and conditions of working Australians.

Today a bill was introduced into parliament that severely weakens the bargaining power of all employees covered by the federal system to take industrial action in pursuit of improved pay and working conditions.

Nurses, teachers and other Australians employed in the caring professions are generally held in high esteem - but not by this ideological, far right Howard Government.

The bill allows the Minister, or virtually anyone else, to apply to the Commission to prevent actual or planned industrial action. The bill applies even if the action only might affect another person.

No actual effect need have occurred. No industrial action need have been initiated.

The Bill effectively removes any bargaining capacity of employees in health, education and community services. Nurses, teachers, academics and community service employees in the federal system will be left in a “take it or leave it” situation in negotiations with their employers.

So too will child care and aged care workers, and any other working Australians covered by federal awards.

Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386 or Nada Delavec 0419 584 241