The Guardian 17 August, 2005

Defending health care

A nurse on the NSW Central Coast, forced to use individual contracts against her staff, has quit in order to lead the charge against AWAs. Genevieve Thyer letterboxed her Erina neighbours about how contracts threatened job security.

"I am very concerned about how AWAs threaten not only health care but education", Ms Thyer said.

She was moved to alert neighbours to her concerns after her employer, an aged care home, tried to get her to put staff on short-term contracts to make it easier to sack them.

Twenty out of 29 staff have since resigned from the Maxine Louise Aged Care facility at Erina over management tactics at the home. Ms Thyer will tell a rally of over 1100 health care workers at Gosford Hospital this week how management wanted her to put staff on short-term contracts in order to sack them.

"As well as insecurity of jobs it affects the resident care of the elderly", she says. "They are in a setting where they need the safety and security of strong relationships with staff."

Staff at the aged care facility are refusing to return until its Director of Care is removed. Ms Thyer will be joined at the rally at Gosford Hospital by asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, who has thrown his support behind community concerns about the federal government’s industrial relations changes.

Back to index page