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John Passant

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March 2012



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Victory to Victorian nurses

Nurses in Victoria are defying a Federal Court order and continuing to strike in support of a campaign for an 18.5% pay increase over just under four years and against changes that would worsen the nurse/patient ratio.

The Baillieu government has offered 2.5%, well below the official rate of inflation and even further behind the household inflation rate. In other words the Baillieu government is offering nurses real wage cuts.

In addition the Government wants to change the nurse/patient ratio so there are fewer nurses dealing with more patients.

The dispute has been going on for over six months, and after the officials called off action last year, the battle is now escalating as nurses realise they can’t win without a real fight.

Defying a Federal Court order means nurses can be fined up to $6600 a day or even jailed. Their pay is now being docked or threatened.

As Lucile Keen in the Australian Financial Review reported on 1 March, here’s what some nurses said in response to that possibility on facebook.

“Come fine me, come jail me,’ said one.

Another said ‘I will stand defiant in the face of the Fair Work Australia order and the orders from the Federal Court of Australia. I will not stop protesting to ensure the rights of all Victorians to receive a high standard of healthcare. This registered nurse is prepared to be fined $6600 daily and to be jailed.’   

What spirit! What fight?

Will the employers try to fine or even jail nurses? Perhaps, although a government or bosses fining or jailing nurses over defending health care standards is a recipe for industrial and political disaster for the ruling class and the government.

This fighting spirit of nurses has the potential to win real wage increases and defend  the nurse/patient ratio, even perhaps improve it,  and in doing  that send a clear message. Strikes can win.

Of course there is still a lot of water to go under the Princes Bridge yet, and the timidity and incorrect strategies of the union leadership can never be underestimated.

Nevertheless at the time of writing nurses are still walking off the job at various hospitals across Victoria.

Workers in other unions could not only learn from the Victorian nurses, but in light of the threatened fines and potential imprisonment, they could organise support, including striking, for the nurses.

For example shutting down public transport or building sites in Melbourne in support of nurses would escalate the dispute and give it an even better chance of winning and at the same time challenge the rotten restrictions on strikes under Labor’s Orwellian legislation, the Fair Work Act.

The nurses’ fight is our fight. Victory to Victorian nurses.



Pingback from En Passant » Victory to Victorian nurses and #ausunion « The Left Hack
Time March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

[…] Posted by Darin Sullivan on March 2, 2012 · Leave a Comment  via […]

Comment from Viola Wilkins
Time March 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Note irony of the ANZ running advertisement on top of your blog when these banksters have just announced massive profits and 1,000 workers to be sacked !

Expect Friday night and over weekend will be test as end of the week more family pressures – either solidarity or squabbling – as situation gets more intense.
Community radio like community station 3cr see had live interviews with nurses in ther own voices, hear podcast after weekend of Stick Together show (Sundays 10am) and social media is very crucial for updates (and twitter/text messaging) as Corporate and Government media ios either spin or not covering as it is now rank and file run. The dispute is really of “national interest” now, not an example Bosses and Politicians in NSW and Queensland want to see organised as resistance when they start their cuts “austerity budget’ there next.

8 am and 6pm daily there are community assemblies, meetings outside 15 hospital sites.
Check out the nearest one to where your live, study or work and bring family, neighbours, friends, workmates.

Ambos (ambulance crews) and Firies (Fire fighters) and other unions (eg Communication Workers Union at Western General) now regularly show solidarity community, class wide support for the nurses.

just in case you haven’t heard, here is info about attempts by Victorian Hospitals Industry Association and Vic gov to try to censor nurses on facebook.

Here is the dreadfully offensive site that threatens public safety and democracy as we know it 🙂

Media release from ANF if you want to cover this gagging:

Campaign page with links to online petition:

Nurses hardship fund – nurses are being pay docked and face fines for walkouts. Please send link and encourage people to donate here or do whip around in your office or worksite:

Comment from John
Time March 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for the links. I am just in the process of writing about the possible contempt proceedings. No irony about the advertising. We live in a capitalist society. Workers sell their labour power to survive. I do too, but am currently not gainfully employed. I sell my blog to try to cover costs.

Pingback from En Passant » Hands off our nurses, Baillieu and Gillard!
Time March 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

[…] Readers might also like to look at Victory to Victorian nurses. […]

Comment from Occupational safety nurse
Time March 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

rIght now, staff member safety and health is more than just your morally right factor, it’s the profitable factor, which is what the law states. Occupational well being scenario administration is just about the methods …sanatate in munca

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