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Nurses tell Allity ‘NO’ once again

Industry super performs best

Reducing a hospital’s environmental footprint

page 12

page 18

page 22

Your rights and entitlements at work Nurse Uncut – your stories What nurses and midwives said Nursing research online



Vote results on PHS Award offer now in. See page 9.

MENTAL HEALTH SAFETY CONCERNS Print Post Approved: PP100007890

p.33 p.35 p.37 p.39


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2 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

CONTENTS Contacts NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association For all membership enquiries and assistance, including Lamp subscriptions and change of address, contact our Sydney office. Sydney Office 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017 (all correspondence) T 8595 1234 (metro) 1300 367 962 (non-metro) F 9662 1414 E W

VOLUME 75 NO. 6 JULY 2018

Hunter Office 8–14 Telford Street, Newcastle East NSW 2300 NSWNMA Communications Manager Janaki Chellam-Rajendra T 1300 367 962 For all editorial enquiries letters and diary dates T 8595 1234 E 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017 Produced by Hester Communications T 9568 3148


Press Releases Send your press releases to: F 9662 1414 E


Editorial Committee Brett Holmes, NSWNMA General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Coral Levett, NSWNMA President Peg Hibbert, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care Richard Noort, Justice Health

Caught between violence and management pressure Staff concerns were disregarded when they tried to warn of mounting aggression in an understaffed mental health unit.

Advertising Danielle Nicholson T 8595 2139 or 0429 269 750 F 9662 1414 E Information & Records Management Centre To find archived articles from The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNMA nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, Coordinator. T 8595 2175 E The Lamp ISSN: 0047-3936 General Disclaimer The Lamp is the official magazine of the NSWNMA. Views expressed in articles are contributors’ own and not necessarily those of the NSWNMA. Statements of fact are believed to be true, but no legal responsibility is accepted for them. All material appearing in The Lamp is covered by copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. The NSWNMA takes no responsibility for the advertising appearing herein and it does not necessarily endorse any products advertised. Privacy Statement The NSWNMA collects personal information from members in order to perform our role of representing their industrial and professional interests. We place great emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the privacy and security of your personal information. Personal information is protected under law and can only be released to someone else where the law requires or where you give permission. If you have concerns about your personal information, please contact the NSWNMA office. If you are still not satisfied that your privacy is being maintained, you can contact the Privacy Commission. Subscriptions for 2018 Free to all Association members. Professional members can subscribe to the magazine at a reduced rate of $30. Individuals $84, Institutions $140, Overseas $150.


Avg Net Distribution per Issue

The Lamp is independently audited under the AMAA's CAB Total Distribution Audit. Audit Period: 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2018


AGED CARE Nurses tell Allity ‘NO’ once again

16 18

Aged care business Allity has failed in a second attempt to push staff into a substandard agreement.

CHANGE THE RULES Cutting penalty rates is economic madness

Further cuts to penalty rates make no sense when leading economists say Australia needs a pay rise.

CHANGE THE RULES Industry super performs best

20 22

CHANGE THE RULES Hospitals before tax cuts: poll

Voters want the Turnbull government to increase funding for hospitals and schools rather than cut personal income tax.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Reducing a hospital’s environmental footprint


The federal Coalition government’s efforts to give the banks a greater share of workers’ superannuation has suffered a setback.

An enterprising nurse shows how a strategy for reducing waste can save hospitals money, reduce emissions, and improve staff morale.


 he long history of Indigenous nursing T The complex relationship between nursing and Indigenous Australians includes a long tradition of Indigenous nurses, a panel of Indigenous nursing experts told an audience on International Women’s Day this year.


5 6 6 28 32 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 46

Editorial Your letters Competition News in brief NSWNMA Education Ask Judith Nurse Uncut Facebook Nursing Research Online Crossword Book Club At the Movies Diary Dates





Nurses tell Allity ‘NO’ once again

Industry super performs best

Reducing a hospital’s environmental footprint

page 12

page 18

page 22

Your rights and entitlements at work Nurse Uncut – your stories What nurses and midwives said Nursing research online

p.33 p.35 p.37 p.39



Vote results on Award offer now in. See page 9.

MENTAL HEALTH SAFETY CONCERNS Print Post Approved: PP100007890

OUR COVER: Hornsby branch president, Michelle Rosentreter Photographed by Tim Dalby THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 3





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For RNs, ENs and AINs in residential, community and hospital aged care settings, across private and public sectors and anyone who has an interest in aged care or elder abuse issues in NSW. Hear from a range of speakers, network with colleagues and gain some valuable CPD hours. PROGRAM*: • Aged care update; Recognising and responding to abuse • Legal issues in aged care • The work of local interagency collaboratives • WHS: dealing with challenging behaviour • Mindfulness – looking after yourself in times of stress. *We reserve the right to change the program without notice

Self-care Forum Fri 17 August 9am – 4pm • NSWNMA 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo



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This one-day seminar focuses on reflection, relaxation and continued rejuvenation as well as the principles and importance of practising self-care to combat stress, burnout and promote healthy practices. PROGRAM: • 5 Keys to achieving optimal nutrition and healthy eating patterns for nurses and midwives • Know Your Self • Mindfulness • Bullying and Conflict Management • Clinical Supervision – taking the emotional load of caring and have it acknowledged and worked through.

REGISTER ONLINE Attendance at NSWNMA education sessions may count towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours. You will be provided with a certificate of completion at the end of each course. The number of hours noted beside each course is the maximum amount of CPD claimable CPD hours assuming that as an attendee you remain for the entirety of the course and complete any extra activities as may be required. 4 | THE LAMP JULY 2018 All All nurses, midwives & assistants in nursing Authorised by B.Holmes, General Secretary, NSWNMA




Our resolve for better ratios is undiminished Nurses and midwives deserve the pay rise they are about to receive but our patients deserve safe ratios as well and we will continue to fight for them on their behalf. As The Lamp goes to press a majority of NSWNMA Public Health System branches throughout the state have voted to accept the NSW government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent pay increase. 19 Branches have expressed their anger at the Government’s refusal to negotiate on our full Award claim by voting to reject the pay offer. I appreciate their commitment to the claim and preparedness to sacrifice their wage increase. I stand by the recommendation endorsed by the NSWNMA Council to accept the pay offer and continue to campaign in the community for safe ratios as a matter or life or death. This pay increase is the same as offered to all other public health employees. Teachers and police have also accepted a 2.5 per cent increase for 2018. NSWNMA negotiators have met with senior officers of the Ministry of Health in 7 long meetings over the last two months. We also met with the Minister of Health, Brad Hazzard. Outside the 2.5 per cent increase there was one concession that rosters should be provided four weeks in advance. There was a categorical “No” to deliver a guaranteed better Award ratios system. This is the seventh consecutive year that the government and NSW Health have refused to negotiate for genuine Award improvements. The Ministry of Health: • Refused to provide specials in addition to the numbers • Refused to count babies as patients in post-natal for maternity staffing • Refused to apply ratios

‘There are many things that every member can do, in your workplace and in your local communities, to build this support for ratios.’ shift-by-shift instead of averaged over a week •R  efused to stop the midnight census which under-counts patient numbers •R  efused to extend ratios to small hospitals and specialties like paediatrics, community, ED, critical care and parts of mental health. RATIOS ARE UNFINISHED BUSINESS While they were prepared to accept the 2.5 per cent pay offer NSWNMA branches made it crystal clear they are not prepared to give up the fight for better ratios. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of our branches passed resolutions to step up the fight for safer staffing. The overwhelming majority of our branches made a statement that they would “stand together and act to show the government that safe patient care can only be delivered through better, guaranteed nurse to patient ratios”. The overwhelming majority of our branches resolved, “to continue standing up for patients, because ratios are a matter of life or death”. The last seven years have shown us that the government is determined to deny NSW nurses and midwives any improvements to their working conditions or to improve the safety and care of our patients with better ratios. They have passed laws that prohibit Award improvements like ratios

for public sector workers unless you sacrifice your existing Award conditions to pay for them. These laws stack the cards against nurses and midwives. THE PUBLIC IS LISTENING TO US We have consulted widely with nurses and midwives and you have consistently told us as that your highest priority is a stronger ratios system and that should not be achieved at the expense of your existing Award conditions. The Association has listened to members and consistently refused to consider “trade offs”. Although the government and NSW Health continue to ignore the overwhelming international evidence that ratios saves lives we know the public is listening to us. We need to redouble our efforts and to mobilise all our resources to grow the support we have in the community. There are many things that every member can do, in your workplace and in your local communities, to build this support. We have a plan to improve and extend ratios that will bring the public health system up to best practice. That plan is for a system that delivers safe ratios on every ward and on every shift, across the state. Let’s take that plan to the public and ultimately let them make the decision on what sort of health system they want for NSW. ■ THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 5



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Retreat to Regency Club Relax and unwind in a beautifully appointed guestroom with views spanning the city or Darling Harbour before retreating to Regency Club for a touch of luxury. Weekend Club package includes: • Exclusive Regency Club check in • Daily continental breakfast with live chef station • Evening drinks and canapés with panoramic views of Darling Harbour between 6-8pm • All day refreshments • Late check-out. FROM $259 PER NIGHT » Book direct with Hyatt Regency Sydney on 8099 1234 or by visiting sydney. quote promotion code WECLUB. *Conditions apply. Special offer: rooms subject to availability. Special offer valid until 31 December 2018 and valid for stays Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights only. Prize: rooms subject to availability. Prize must be redeemed by 31 December 2018. Not valid during special even periods. Competition entries from NSWNMA members only and limited to one entry per member. Competition opens 1 July 2018 and closes 31 July 2018. The prize is drawn on 1 August 2018. If a redraw is required for an unclaimed prize it must be held up to 3 months from the original draw date. NSW Permit no: LTPM/18/02955.

6 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

On behalf of Bathurst District Historical Society, I would like to thank Brett Holmes and the NSWNMA for showing interest in our project to commemorate World War I nurses. They were honoured with a plaque at the carillon and a display in our museum and we’d also like to thank you for telling their story in your magazine, The Lamp May edition: “Bathurst remembers its wartime nurses”. Marion Perry, Bathurst District Historical Society NHPPD isn’t working or an accurate model. We have areas where nurses are working 1:6 with acute patients. We have to fight to get additional staff supplemented for a special because it used to be that we’d have to take a nurse from the floor for that special. It isn’t safe patient care at all. We need a model that truly reflects the acuity of our patients and supplements staff accordingly without having to fight for it. I’m sure even our managers wish they could say yes but it’s the financial pressure that everyone is under. Fix NHPPD to truly reflect the work we do and the care our patients need and give extra money to take the financial pressure off of staff and managers. We cut staff and then get told work smarter not harder. Cutting corners isn’t good for anyone. Our patients deserve good quality care and we could provide that as well as meet the targets given to us through extra staffing. Mel Gole

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SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: Editorial Enquiries EMAIL fax 9662 1414 
 MAIL 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017. Please include a high-resolution photo along with your name, address, phone and membership number. Letters may be edited for clarity and space. Anonymous letters will not be published.

LETTER OF THE MONTH Baby hamper no help What is the price of a vote? Hopefully not $160 worth of baby goods to new parents. Do not fear new mothers, help is coming! Thanks to the ever so supportive Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, all new mothers will receive a baby hamper on the birth of their child. New parents across this state have been given understaffed maternity wards, a lack of maternity and neonatal beds and Child and Family Health Centre closures. We have only four publicly funded beds in NSW for new mums with mental illness, an absolute disgrace! And please, please don’t get me started on the defunding of shelters for new mothers trying to leave a violent partner. For eight years new parents in NSW have been let down but that is all about to be corrected with a basket from Gladys. Support for new families (real ones, not books in a basket) are limited, with inpatient placement for sleep correction difficult to get in a timely manner and non-existent outside of metro areas. Perhaps the basket could contain the number for a help line that doesn’t stop at 7pm or one that will stay funded past the next election. I have read The Lamp and heard the stories of neonatal morbidity and mortality in NSW as a direct result of staffing issues. I have heard stories of staff in tears shift after shift due to a lack of safe staffing levels. No staff member wants to go home having delivered sub optimal care. This Liberal government has done nothing to address these issues but thinks handouts are the answer to a better state. This is outrageous! After the birth of my son nine weeks ago I found out how bad funding of Child and Family Health has become under this Liberal government when I discovered my closest Child and Family Health centre had been closed a few years ago due to funding cuts. The government has also promised 100 more midwives across the entire state. I know of one hospital that could take 30 and another that needs 20 of these, the rest of you will have to fight it out for the 50 left. Where will these midwives come from and are they actual bodies or just positions? Is this sheer trickery of figures as we've seen before? In the last ten years in my area I have seen a substantial increase in housing development, more pregnancies, more children and no increase in hospital beds, a decrease in Mothercraft nurses and centres and now a withdrawal of the universal home visit to all new mothers. This NSW government has not invested in maternity and neonatal health over the past eight years but now with an election looming... well, as a nurse, midwife and a sleep-deprived new mother, I know where Liberals and Nationals can shove their hamper. O’Bray Smith RN, RM

China says ‘no thank you’ to our rubbish Recent news items have highlighted the changing situation with waste management, especially since a change in policy by operators in China was announced. They have understandably refused to continue importing and processing Australian rubbish. My hospital is currently trialling a recycling service that collects co-mingled rubbish (including some plastics, metals, wrappings etc.) and transports it interstate to South Australia for incineration to create “green energy”. The company representative insists that this is the best option available as it is unsafe to segregate the waste. We need to separate items, such as all glass products, from fluid bags, tubing and wet items, which will continue to go to landfill. The greater volume of our waste in this trial is accepted as comingled recycling waste. I’m yet to be convinced that this new interstate transport and incineration approach is ideal. I fear that it will lead to increased airborne pollutants. I’d love to hear of any other NSW hospitals that are doing it better than us. Mark Quealy

Advertise in The Lamp and reach more than 66,000 nurses and midwives. To advertise please contact Danielle Nicholson 02 8595 2139 / 0429 269 750

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 7


Caught between violence and management pressure Staff concerns were disregarded when they tried to warn of mounting aggression in an understaffed mental health unit.


n Hornsby Hospital’s understaffed mental health intensive care unit (MHICU), nurses are caught between the risk of violence from aggressive patients and a management that disregarded staff concerns. A unit nurse was brutally assaulted on 1 June – one day after management pressure led staff to reopen a bed they closed three days earlier due to safety concerns. MHICU nurses closed the bed on May 28 in line with a resolution by Hornsby Hospital's NSWNMA branch that called on management to close three of the 12 beds to match the available trained staff. The unit was dangerously understaffed by 9.4 FTE (full time equivalent) vacancies out of a total of 29.5 FTE nurses. Staff were doing excessive over time and untrained contingency staff were being placed in the MHICU, said branch president Michelle Rosentreter. The bed closure was also preceded by a “riot” which saw patients barricade themselves inside the unit, she said. “Experienced senior nurses on duty at the time were able to manage 8 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

that episode without injury to staff. “However, the assault on 1 June happened when permanent staff had to rely on irregular casuals who were not trained to manage such a serious incident.”

WARNINGS WERE DISREGARDED She said the branch held Northern Sydney Local Health District management responsible for the June 1 assault because the LHD had failed to help MHICU nurses deal with serious understaffing since at least September. “Staff told the branch that senior nurses who raised safety concerns with hospital executives and advocated for bed closures were threatened with reprisals and verbally intimidated. “MHICU staff are distressed about it because they tried to avoid a foreseeable danger. “ Their warnings were disregarded and they were made to feel that their judgement was poor and their risk assessment worthless. “To be told by people who aren’t in that clinical setting that there isn't a problem is just irresponsible.” She said that following the recent violence, the MHICU was given its

own security team separate from general hospital security. “We asked for this as long ago as 2016. Management trialled it for a few weeks then stopped it.” Michelle said the branch and Reasonable Workloads Committee (RWC) tried to identify risks and put strategies in place to avoid injury to staff. “However, the LHD and hospital executive don't see the need to do any thing until something bad happens. “We acknowledge that the LHD has now escalated recruitment of staff to fill vacancies. “The branch and RWC are auditing all mental health units to establish staff numbers and skill mix.”

SITUATION REMAINS VOLATILE NSWNMA Assistant General Secretar y Judith K iejda said the Hornsby MHICU incidents highlighted the desperate need to improve staffing of mental health units across the state. She said that by last September, nine of the 26 positions at Hornsby's MHICU were vacant and the number of reportable near-misses increased.


‘The LHD and hospital executive don't see the need to do anything until something bad happens.’ — Michelle Rosentreter

“The unit was forced to rely on overtime and irregular casual and agency labour including nurses who lacked minimum training in violence prevention. “They were not trained to take down a violent patient or deescalate a potentially violent situation, which prolonged the incident on 1 June. “While recruitment is now being fast-tracked, the unit will continue to rely heavily on contingency labour for the next month or so and the situation will remain volatile.” Last year, nurses from all Hornsby Hospital units held a rally to warn the public about unsafe staffing practices throughout the hospital. The rally followed the release of data obtained by the NSWNMA which revealed that 142 eighthour shifts went unfilled in just four wards over the previous 10 months. In the aged care and rehabilitation wards, unfilled shifts represented a total of 752.2 hours below award minimum staffing levels. Understaffing below the legal minimum at Wards 3A and 3B amounted to 214.8 hours and 170.8 hours respectively. Michelle said the staffing situation had improved across hospital units subject to nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD) ratios since the NSWNMA took the issue to the Industrial Relations Commission. “The NHPPD units are now mostly staffed in accordance with the award,” she said. “Our biggest problem is with non-NHPPD units, such as specialist wards like paediatrics, theatres and maternity and the mental health ICU.” n

STOP PRESS Yes to pay offer. Yes to continuing the fight for better ratios. As The Lamp goes to print, NSWNMA Public Health System branches have voted to accept the government’s 2.5 per cent pay offer but have vowed to continue the fight for better, more transparent nurse to patient ratios. A commanding 172 NSW branches passed resolutions to continue the campaign for better ratios. Nineteen branches expressed their anger towards the government by rejecting its offer in its entirety. NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the union’s branches – through its democratic structures – had sent a clear message that the current number of nurses and midwives are inadequate to meet the demand on the system and ratios are the only solution. “This vote puts the government on notice. Nurses and midwives are ready to fight for their patients and demand safe staffing levels,” he said. The Lamp will cover the vote and the next steps in our campaign in more depth in our next issue. THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 9


Ratios a boost for NUMs The NSWNMA’s award claims aim to give NUMs in the public health system more control over unit staffing.


he NSWNMA claim for improved ratios would help nurse unit managers to staff their units with the nursing numbers and skills they need, says Nepean Hospital NUM Kerry Rodgers. Kerry, who is NUM of the Operating Suite (Clinical) and a NSWNMA councillor, says if successful, the union claim would give NUMs “more autonomy and greater capacity to staff units the way they should be staffed, with the right skill mix depending on patients’ acuity.” She says recent Industrial Commission cases brought by the NSWNMA have revealed how upper management in some local health districts have manipulated the existing nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD) system. “The current Award says NHPPD should be considered as the minimum standard but NUMs find it difficult to make that argument. “At a lot of hospitals, including Nepean, NUMs have been hamstrung in their efforts to advocate for their wards and obtain the correct NHPPD, including like for like replacement of absent staff. “For some senior management, as long as you’ve got a beating heart you are an adequate replacement for any staff member regardless of your qualifications and skills.

“Wards have also been short-changed via the use of shorter shifts for replacement staff and the direction to manage ‘specialling’ patients within staffing numbers. “The 2018 award claim will strengthen the capacity of NUMs to say they need extra appropriately qualified staff due to the high acuity of their patients.”

EQUAL RATIOS FOR ALL NSW HOSPITALS The union’s award claim includes equal ratios for all adult medical/surgical wards in all NSW hospitals. “It is unfair that a ward in a country hospital has to work with fewer NHPPD than a ward caring for the same type of patients in a tertiary hospital,” Kerry says. “People should receive the same level of nursing care regardless of which hospital they attend.” The current award says operating theatres should be staffed according to ‘ACORN’ 2008 standards and the NSWNMA 2018 claim seeks to have staffing 10 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘The 2018 award claim will strengthen the capacity of NUMs to say they need extra appropriately qualified staff due to the high acuity of their patients.’ — Kerry Rodgers levels continually updated in line with the release of ACORN standards. Kerry says applying current ACORN standards would boost staffing of indirect roles such as NUMs and clinical nurse educators. It would also help non-theatre procedural areas undertaking procedures requiring sedation such as endoscopy units and imaging departments, to gain safe staffing levels. ■


Hours-based staffing needs reform Our public hospitals need a simpler, more accountable ratios system.


ublic hospital staffing based on nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD), must be improved to account for skill mix and daily fluctuations in patient numbers, says nurse unit manager Darryl Petersen. Darryl, the NUM of Blacktown Hospital’s aged care ward, believes the NHPPD system is “open to wide interpretation” and can be manipulated to reduce effective staff numbers. He supports the NSWNMA’s 2018 award claim for a simpler, more accountable ratios system. “We need ratios that ensure we have enough staff with the required skills to care for our patients. The current system gives us staff numbers only,” he says. Blacktown's aged care ward has 12 patients plus one flex bed and is staffed by three nurses plus the NUM on morning shift. “Our staffing is often one RN, one EN and one AiN – the lowest skill mix we can possibly have,” Darryl says. “This morning I had two RNs and an EN on the roster, but one RN was moved to another ward and replaced with an AiN. “Replacing RNs with AiNs reduces the level of care available to my patients without a doubt. It means we can't always attend to their clinical needs in a timely manner. “Recovery care is sometimes delayed because there are not enough skilled nurses available.”

‘I would definitely advocate a team leader without a patient load for afternoon and nightshifts.’ — Darryl Petersen

Darryl says the practice of counting patients at midnight understates the true number to be cared for.

standard of care for our patients 24/7 we need a dedicated in-charge nurse without a patient load for every shift.

“We quite often use the 13th bed during the day with the number of occupied beds dropping to 12 by midnight.”

“I would be open to some flexibility about the NUM being the team leader in the morning. But I would definitely advocate a team leader without a patient load for afternoon and night shifts.”

He supports the union’s award claim for the in-charge nurse not to be allocated a patient load. “On mornings I am the team leader for three other staff who carry patient loads. As team leader I manage ward activity such as admissions and discharges. “However, on afternoon shift, the senior nurse acts as team leader and also has a patient load. That significantly reduces the level of care that can be provided compared to morning shift. “The same problem applies on nights and weekends to varying extents. “In order to maintain an equal

Darryl says inadequate staffing often causes delays in non-clinical care and management of patients. “In the aged care ward we are very involved with patients' families. We may be trying to maintain a person's ability to continue to live safely at home. Or, we are working with a family to make plans for their relative to go into some level of care or service provision at home. “ T he s e de ci sion s re qu i re intensive interaction between patient, family and staff and it's very difficult to do that when we are spread so thin.” ■ THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 11


Nurses tell Allity ‘NO’ once again Aged care business Allity has failed in a second attempt to push staff into a substandard agreement.


or the second time in eight months, Allity nurses have voted against a company attempt to lock them into four more years of low pay and unsafe workloads. Despite company pressure, 59.6 per cent of nursing staff voted ‘No’ to Allity's offer of a small pay increase, no back pay and no staffing improvements in May. Nurses said Allity management pulled out all stops to sway the vote. Staff were told that nursing homes would close and they would lose their jobs if they voted no. Nurses were called in at the start of their shifts and taken into voting booths where a manager stood and watched them vote via computer. Company executives turned up at workplaces when NSWNMA officials visited to speak to members. Executives routinely sat down in lunch rooms within earshot of discussions between staff and union representatives. They even arranged free pizza for staff while trying to drum up support for a ‘Yes’ vote. NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said a near-60 per cent ‘No’ vote was extraordinary under these circumstances. “The employer had a big advantage, but a very active and courageous group of union members did a lot of work to counter their tactics,” he said. “They talked to their workmates, explained the issues and kept them up to date with campaign developments. “Despite all the pressure, they attended union meetings, put up posters and handed out flyers.”

ALLITY REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE The Allity enterprise agreement expired in June 2017 and the NSWNMA has tried to negotiate with Allity since February 2017. Nurses at all 15 Allity facilities in NSW signed a petition calling on the company to enter talks. Allity refused to negotiate and decided instead to extend the existing agreement with wage increases of 1.8 per cent in 2017 and 2018. It put the offer to a staff vote – as required by law – but nurses voted to reject it in October. The company then agreed to negotiations, offering a two per cent increase and later, a 2.2 per cent increase. Allity refused to backpay the increase to the date an increase was due of the old agreement, (as is usual practice), and rejected meaningful changes to the workloads clause to ease the burden of understaffing. Throughout February and early March, 10 of the company’s NSW nursing homes passed resolutions calling on Allity to make an improved pay offer and address other union claims. However, Allity took a 2.35 per cent pay offer to a second ballot, which staff also rejected. Despite this, Allity has been forced by the Fair Work Commission to increase many of their rates from 1 July to stay above the legal minimum pay. Brett says many nurses have joined the NSWNMA during the campaign and three new union branches have been formed. “It is outrageous that a highly profitable company like Allity is making nurses fight so hard for a decent pay increase,” he said. ■

‘The employer had a big advantage but a very active and courageous group of union members did a lot of work to counter their tactics.’ — Brett Holmes 12 | THE LAMP JULY 2018


Allity hard line boosts union strength Company unable to quash member action.

We stand a better chance of winning our claims when more people join the union,” says Lucy Murphy, NSWNMA branch secretary at Allity’s Beechwood nursing home. “We are attracting new members because staff realise that more people joining the union strengthens our negotiating position,” she says. Lucy works as a registered nurse at the Allity facility in the south western Sydney suburb of Revesby. After more than a year of trying to negotiate a new agreement, Lucy says, “more people understand that nothing much will change without action on our part. “They can see the company is to blame for the delay in getting a new agreement. “They are angry and fed up with always having to work short staffed while being pressured to accept ridiculous pay offers.” Many Beechwood staff did not know their enterprise agreement was about to expire until notified by the NSWNMA. “That’s when we started a petition to get Allity to negotiate with us,” Lucy says. “Instead of negotiating seriously, they forced us to have a vote on their offer of a piddling 1.8 per cent wage increase with no back pay, which members found insulting. “As the petitions went around, more people got interested in what the union was doing to achieve a better deal.” She says that as a branch official, it's her role to keep fellow staff

‘During the campaigns our ‘Vote No’ posters were taken down from the lunch room wall.’ — Lucy Murphy members informed about campaign developments and educate people about what the union does. “We also ask staff members for their views on the campaign and ask if they have any issues or grievances they want us to bring up with management or union organisers. “During the campaigns leading up to the first and second ballots, our ‘Vote No’ posters were taken down from the lunch room wall. “Posters I put up just before my shift would be gone by the tea break. “The union staff quickly got us more posters – they have been very

effective in keeping us in the know and helping us put up a good fight. “Management would come past and say, ‘You’re not allowed to persuade people how to vote’, yet they had no problem putting up ‘Vote Yes’ posters and wearing ‘Yes’ badges.” Lucy said staff were also upset when a senior manager told them they had no choice but to accept the second offer because they would never get a better deal. “In saying that they shot themselves in the foot because they really got people's backs up.” ■ THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 13


Branch officials vital to Allity campaign Nurse delegates keep co-workers involved and up to date in campaign for a better deal.


s the Allity dispute has gone on, employees have become even more determined to win a better deal, says Anne Breadon, NSWNMA branch president at Beechwood nursing home. Anne, a registered nurse, has worked at Beechwood for 27 years. As an NSWNMA branch official, she acts as a link between union organisers and her fellow nurses. She conveys information and the views of her co-workers to union organisers. “I grab every opportunity to talk to staff and keep them up to date with what's happening in the campaign,” she says. Most communication is informal, such as a chat in the staff room. When there are decisions to be taken, Anne and her fellow branch officials call a branch meeting. She says workers strongly supported a petition calling on the company to negotiate with the union for a new agreement. “The petition made them sit up and realise that Allity is a business and we need to stand up for ourselves to get a better deal. “A decent pay rise is important and so is the need to improve staffing. “People are fed up with being left short staffed with no contingency plans and with management telling them, ‘You’ll get through it; it’s just a matter of time management and prioritising your work’. 14 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘Despite the pressure, more staff have joined the union.’ — Anne Breadon “There is no real opportunity for staff to discuss workload issues.” Anne says senior management applied a lot of pressure to employees to vote ‘Yes’ to inadequate offers. “We even had a manager from head office sit in our staffroom during a branch meeting and stare at people attending the meeting. “Despite the pressure, more staff have joined the union. “A lot of people are doing it tough

and are reluctant to spend the money on union fees, but they realise the benefits of being a member outweigh the cost. “That’s a reflection of the great effort our union organisers have put in to get us all a better deal. “I am overwhelmed by the work they’ve done. The Nurses and Midwives’ Association have done themselves proud.” ■


Time to end nursing home rorts The federal government must stop for-profit aged care providers from spending taxpayer subsidies however they wish.


uccessive federal governments have enabled a system that allows for-profit aged care companies to benefit from cuts to staff levels and wages, the NSWNMA has told a Senate inquiry. NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the public expects healthcare companies to be held accountable for how they spend government money. However, government unwillingness to regulate aged care outcomes has resulted in “overt profiteering” by the for-profit sector. “Australia previously had a system that ring-fenced funding for staffing costs, a system that provided some assurance that Commonwealth funds would be directed to resident care,” he said. “Sadly, the push for self-regulation across the sector removed this minimal protection for those most in need of protection, allowing a sustained deluge of funds to be streamed away from direct care.” Brett made the comments in a submission to the inquiry into the financial and tax practices of for-profit aged care companies. He said many aged care staff regularly work extra hours for no pay for employers who do not recognise dangerous staffing and skills shortages. “This is set within a backdrop of record profits and increasing investment in top management roles that see no benefit to resident care and outcomes.” The NSWNMA submission calls for a system of “ring-fenced funding for staffing” to ensure taxpayer funds are spent on direct resident care.

MORE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES In a separate submission, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) said recent research showed that nursing home residents receive one and a half hours less care than they should, every day. “Yet there are no rules to ensure that government subsidies given to aged care companies are spent directly on their care,” it said. Large for-profit aged care companies, in particular, use “loopholes and complex corporate structures and tactics to maximise earnings and profits and avoid tax, while taking advantage of generous, taxpayer-funded government subsidies.”

The ANMF said companies that receive millions of dollars in government subsidies should be required by law to meet higher standards of transparency in financial reporting. “Proof of government funding being directly spent on the care of elderly residents needs to be mandated as a prerequisite to receiving a subsidy.” For-profit aged care companies are also not transparent regarding the staffing of facilities, the submission said. “Consumers, external organisations and the government have no way of knowing whether residential aged care facilities are staffed in a way that will keep them and their families safe.” The ANMF’s recommendations include specific measures to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the spending of government funding and company reporting. It says residential aged care companies must publicly and transparently report the staffing of all aged care facilities. Federal Secretary of the ANMF, Annie Butler, said for-profit providers must be made accountable for over $2 billion they receive from the taxpayer. “Residential aged care companies should provide proof that government funding is being spent directly on the care of residents,” she said. “This should be mandated as a pre-requisite to receiving a subsidy. “The best way of demonstrating this would be to implement mandated and legislated skills mixes and staffing.” ■

Find out more You can read all the submissions to the senate inquiry into the financial and tax practices of forprofit aged care providers at: Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/ Taxpractices-agedcare/Submissions THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 15


Cutting penalty rates is economic madness Further cuts to penalty rates make no sense when leading economists say Australia needs a pay rise.

Alayne Dwyer


second tranche of penalty rate cuts for low paid workers came into effect on 1 July despite a new call from the Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, for an increase in wages for Australian workers. Day one of the new financial year saw the implementation of a further 10 per cent cut in Sunday penalty rates for fast food and hospitality workers. Retail and pharmacy workers copped a 15 per cent cut. Last year, workers in all four sectors saw their Sunday rates slashed by five per cent. This attack on the wages of the low paid is not over. Another 10 per cent cut is scheduled for fast food and hospitality workers next year and further 15 per cent annual cuts in retail and pharmacy workers’ penalty rates for the next two years. Sydney Mor ning Herald columnist Jenna Price warned that these cuts were merely the beginning. “I always think about those

16 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘In my judgment the return over time to a world where wage increases started with a 3 rather than a 2 is both possible and desirable.’ — Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe first cuts as being a taste of things to come – penalty rates cuts for the industries we don’t think are important; hospitality, retail. “It’s a way of desensitising the electorate so when it comes to the industries which are really important, we won’t be able to argue – Nurses. Aged care workers,” she said.

WORKERS NEED MORE BARGAINING POWER The latest round of penalty rate cuts came weeks after Reserve Bank boss, Philip Lowe, said a lack of wages growth is chipping away at Australia’s “sense of shared prosperity”. On 13 June, Lowe, in a speech

to the Australian Industry Group, told some of Australian’s most prominent business leaders he would like to see pay rises of at least three per cent for working people. “In my judgement, the return over time to a world where wage increases started with a three rather than a two is both possible and desirable,” he said. It was the second time the Reser ve Ba n k gover nor had publicly called for an increase in wages in order to stimulate the Australian economy. Lowe attributes the lack of wages growth to a decline in the bargaining power of workers, an increase in the global supply of workers and businesses that have focused on


What if it happened to nurses? If nurses and midwives’ Sunday penalty rates were cut to Saturday levels:


A registered nurse in a NSW public hospital would lose $1,767 per year or 1.9 per cent of gross pay.


An enrolled nurse in a NSW public hospital working “average hours” would lose $1,573 per year or 2.59 per cent of gross pay.


The loss for an assistant in nursing in an aged care facility working a full-time equivalent of 38 hours per week, would total $1,399 per year or 2.59 per cent of gross wages. Source: McKell Institute

controlling labour costs instead of investing in technology. “This cost-control mentality does not make for an environment where firms are willing to pay larger wage increases,” he said. Guardian economics commentator Greg Jericho says that the lack of bargaining power and the use of imported workers are connected. “Temporary workers brought in (to Australia) are being done so by companies seeking to ensure lower levels of unionised labour and higher levels of non-permanent staffing, which combined, reduces the capacity for workers to argue for higher wages,” he wrote.

GOVERNMENT POLICY DECREASES WAGES Prior to Lowe’s speech, business groups and the Turnbull government had opposed an increase in the minimum wage.

The Turnbull government warned the Fair Work Commission t h at a n i ncre a s e i n t he minimum wage would pose “employment risks”. That position was comprehen sively debu n ke d by Reser ve Bank research that showed minimum wage rises don’t cause job losses (see The Lamp June 2018). Malcolm Turnbull has also publicly supported the decision to cut penalty rates arguing it would lead to an increase in jobs. This claim too has been demolished by research produced by the University of Wollongong and Macquarie University. Their study found there was a zero increase in jobs after the first round of penalty rate cuts. “This finding is in stark contrast to the hypothesised outcome,” said Dr Martin O’Brien, the lead researcher. ■

The penalty rate cuts that keep on coming June 2017, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled cuts to penalty rates that would be phased in over the following years. Workers in fast food or hospitality had their Sunday penalty rates reduced by five per cent in 2017, with a further 10 per cent cut from 1 July 2018 and another 10 per cent cut to come in 2019. Retail or pharmacy sector workers had their take-home Sunday pay cut by five per cent in 2017, with a further 15 per cent every year until 2020. Malcolm Turnbull publicly supported the FWC decision.

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 17


Industry Super performs best The federal government’s efforts to give the banks a greater share of workers’ superannuation has suffered a setback.


he Productivity Commission has confirmed what unions have long maintained: industry superannuation funds are the best performing vehicles for workers’ retirement savings. A draft report by the commission says bank-owned retail super funds charge twice the fees and produce 28 per cent lower returns than industry funds. Members of industry funds such as the health care industry’s HESTA are, on average, much better off when they retire. A retail fund member who saves 9.5 per cent of current average weekly earnings for 40 years, will earn an average annual return of 4.9 per cent and retire with $996,000. That is a whopping $666,000 less than the $1,662,000 nest egg an industry fund member will earn with average annual earnings of 6.8 per cent. The comparison comes from leading financial journalist Alan Kohler, who said it ought to put an end to the government’s “dishonest attacks on industry funds”. “The fact that the government has not denounced this and given the banks a deadline for fixing the problem can only be explained by the Coalition’s absurd bias against industry funds because union officials sit on their boards,” wrote Kohler in The Australian. Industry funds are managed jointly by union and employer representatives. The government has campaigned to undermine industry funds and ensure that “more of the spoils go to the private sector retail funds” despite their “exorbitant” fees, wrote

18 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

Sydney Morning Herald political editor, Peter Hartcher. Prime Minister Turnbull, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, a former executive of National Australia Bank, refused to comment on the Productivity Commission’s damning findings against retail funds.

SUPER IS AN INDUSTRIAL RIGHT Bernard Keane, politics editor for, described the Productivity Commission report as “a ferocious blow for the government and the retail super sector. Not even Kelly O’Dwyer’s pre-emptive – and pathetic – attacks on industry funds can distract from it”. The ACTU said the commission report made a “sound case” for the need to reform super to eliminate multiple accounts and unnecessary insurance. However, the peak union body criticised the commission’s recommendation to break the link between super and industry awards. “Superannuation is an industrial right and comes from workers’ deferred wages,” said ACTU Assistant Secretary, Scott Connolly. “The link between employers, unions, workers and their funds has been a key reason why industry super funds have systemically out-performed bank-owned super funds, and a pillar of the success of our retirement system.” Connolly said the commission had “ignored the need to lift the Abbott/Turnbull government’s freeze on superannuation contributions, which should be urgently raised to 12 per cent”. Compulsory superannuation

started in 1992 as a result of a union initiative supported by Labor governments. Under the system, the employer compulsory contribution rate rose to 9.5 per cent in 2014. It was supposed to gradually increase to 12 per cent by 2022 but the Abbott and Turnbull governments blocked its progression. Under the Coalition, the 9.5 per cent rate will remain until 2021 and will not reach 12 per cent until 2025.

$996,000* A retail fund member will retire with $996,000.

$1,662,000** An industry fund member will retire with $1,662,000.

*Based on super savings of 9.5 per cent of current average weekly earnings for 40 years at an average annual return of 4.9 per cent. **Based on average annual earnings of 6.8 per cent.


Ruined by the banks The banking royal commission that Malcolm Turnbull did his best to prevent has unearthed scandal after scandal.


fter 30 years of nursing, Jacqueline McDowall set out to realise her dream of retiring in order to run a bed and breakfast. The Melbourne-based nurse and her husband hoped to buy a B&B using the equity in their home, their combined superannuation held in two industry super funds and a bank loan. A Westpac financial planner advised them to do this through a self-managed super fund, which happened to charge very high fees and insurance premiums. A Westpac business banker said the bank could lend them up to $2 million. The McDowalls sold their house and started renting as they looked for a property to buy as a B&B. However, when they went back to Westpac to finalise arrangements for the loan, they were told it was impossible because you cannot use super funds to invest in a property you live in. They were forced to move to the Northern Territory to take up higher paid work, are still renting and doubt they will ever be able to afford their own home again, Ms McDowall told the banking royal commission. She de s cr ib e d We s t pac ’s behaviour as “absolutely and utterly disgusting”. “We had been to a big bank that we had banked in for 16 years and I never thought that I would be lied to,” she said. The McDowall’s story is one of many scandals to have emerged during commission hearings. After repeatedly refusing to order a royal commission on the grounds it wasn’t necessary, Prime

‘We had been to a big bank that we had banked in for 16 years, and I never thought that I would be lied to.’ — Jacqueline McDowall, nurse Minister and former banker, Malcolm Turnbull, finally did so after Nationals MPs threatened to break ranks and vote with Labor to establish one. The commission’s shocking revelations have trashed the reputations of the big four banks plus AMP and “the entire Big End of Town”, wrote leading finance journalist Michael Pascoe in The Sydney Morning Herald.

BAN BANKS FROM SUPER SAYS ACTU The ACTU has called on the Turnbull government to ban the banks from operating superannuation funds in light of the banks’ legal and moral failures unveiled both inside and outside of the royal commission. The commission heard that the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) knowingly charged customers for financial planning advice after they died. The estate of one client was charged for 10 years after his death. The CBA knowingly charged many more customers for services they did not receive and has so far been forced to pay back $118 million to customers who were ripped off in this way. The financial services company AMP also admitted charging

thousands of customers for services they were never going to receive – and for repeatedly misleading the financial regulator ASIC about the practice. The National Australia Bank (NAB) was found to have run a bribery and forgery ring across multiple branches in western Sydney. NAB’s “Introducer Program”, which provided commissions to people for home loan referrals, led to forged documents and fake payslips to settle loans and envelopes stuffed with cash bribes. Outside the commission, CBA has agreed to pay a $700 million fine after admitting to systemic breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The federal government’s financial intelligence gathering agency AUSTRAC accused the bank of serious and systemic failures to report suspicious deposits, transfers and accounts. Some of these transactions resulted in millions of dollars flowing through to drug importers. Meanwhile ANZ, along with global banks Citigroup and Deutsch Bank, have had criminal cartel charges levelled against them by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. ■ THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 19


Hospitals before tax cuts: poll Voters want the Turnbull government to increase funding for hospitals and schools rather than cut personal income tax.


majority of voters chose increased spending on healthcare (67 per cent), aged pensions (56 per cent), education (55 per cent) and affordable housing (52 per cent), as their budget priorities for 2018. They stated their preferences in a Guardian Essential Poll taken just before the May federal budget. Only 17 per cent nominated personal income tax cuts as the most important issue for the budget to address. Despite public opinion, a package of tax cuts to be introduced in three stages became the centrepiece of Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget. When they are finally implemented the cuts will take $144 billion out of the public purse. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), the biggest winners from the tax package when it is fully implemented will be highincome earners: • A worker on $200,000 will get a tax cut of $7,225 • A worker on $60,000 will get an annual tax cut of $540. The PBO calculates that men benefit twice as much from the tax cuts during the first two stages due to Australia’s gender pay gap, and by nearly three to one after the third stage. A tax expert from the University of Melbourne Law School, Miranda Stewart, told the Senate’s economics legislation committee that the tax changes were an “inefficient and a retrograde step that undermines 20 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘A household in Wentworth will receive double the national average from the tax cuts.’ the 100 years of progressive tax rate structure in Australia”. A not her a na lysis, by t he Australia Institute, found that wealthy Liberal-held seats were the biggest beneficiaries from the tax cuts, with Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth the biggest winner. A household in Wentworth will receive double the national average from the tax cuts. Two experts from the National Social and Economic Modelling Centre (NATSEM) – Dr Jinjing Li and Professor Robert Tanton – told the online magazine The Conversation that the tax cuts highlighted the need for a national discussion about how government revenue is spent. “We can either spend this windfall gain on benefits to highincome earners in the hope that this will flow through spending to everyone else, or maybe we should encourage young people into housing through an increase to the first home owners grant, or increased funding for our schools, universities and health system,” they wrote. n



A worker on $200,000 will get a tax cut of $7,225 when the government’s changes are fully implemented.


A worker on $60,000 will get an annual tax cut of $540.


THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 21


Reducing a hospital’s environmental footprint An enterprising nurse shows how a strategy for reducing waste can save hospitals money, reduce emissions, and improve staff morale.


ibby Barnes, an RN at Lismore Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, initiated a recycling program that saw her unit transform from one where the only things recycled were cardboard boxes when a staff member moved house, to one where almost half of the unit’s waste is now reused and recycled. “We did an audit in 2016, and there was nothing being recycled,” Libby told NSWNMA members at an Environmental Forum.

As the  “biggest industry in the region",  Lismore Hospital’s e nv i r on me nt a l fo o t pr i nt i s significant.  “We have a huge responsibility in healthcare to minimise our impact on the environment,” she said.

“T welve months down the track, at least 40 per cent of waste was being recycled, and close to 50-55 per cent on big weeks,” said Libby, who has now taken the program to the rest of the hospital.

“There was just this sea of waste in front of me, everything I opened was a once-only object.”

The recycling company would once pick up two skips three times a week. Now they have added another big skip and come five times a week, she explains. The amount of material now being recycled means the hospital is well on the way to meeting the service agreement it has with NSW Health to reduce landfill by 40 per cent by 2020. Libby first discovered the agreement existed when she started looking into recycling at the hospital. She realised Lismore was “nowhere near meeting this and there was nothing in the future. It was just brushed under the carpet”. 22 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

Before she became an ICU nurse, Libby had worked for Greenpeace, The Wilderness Society and the North East Forest Alliance. With this strong green background, her first day of practical in 2000 came as a shock.

She thought: “I can’t do this, I can’t enable it.” W hen she star ted t he recycling program at Lismore, Libby  remembers standing in the pan room with a fellow nurse and “looking at the skip overflowing with recyclable materials”. ICUs can create up to 6 kg of waste per patient per day, Libby says. Sixty per cent of that waste is potentially recyclable. “Everyone is worried about the potentially pathogenic nature of hospital waste, but studies show that only applies to 15 per cent of hospital waste.” One of the big lessons Libby has learnt from this program is that environmental practices start with

procurement: “Buying practices can contribute up to three quarters of a hospital’s carbon emissions.” Libby has now begun auditing produc t s pu rcha sed by t he hospital and researching more e nv i r o n m e n t a l a lt e r n a t i ve s . Individually wrapped tourniquets can be replaced with boxes for each patient, for example. Disposable cups have been replaced with re-washable ones, and plastic medication cups have been replaced with biodegradable paper cups. Large packs of five different types of instruments that would be thrown away when only one was used have been replaced with smaller packs. “We can save money, reduce emissions, and it also really improves staff morale,” says Libby. Staff and patient surveys have shown unanimous support. “Everyone loves it. They own it, they really feel proud of it.” ■

Find out more You can listen to a broadcast of Libby’s presentation to the NSWNMA’s Environmental Health forum at: http://www.



Libby’s tips for starting a green hospital program Do an audit before you start Get evidence-based research on what needs to be done Make sure staff nursing managers and hospital executives are on board and get their approval Ask the recovery facility people to send in the right experts to tell you what can be recycled Communicate with cleaning staff and ask for their input to make sure that it works Make sure bins are well-placed and well-signed with exactly what goes in every bin (especially important for new staff) Money and volume talks – show management how environmental practices make economic sense and demonstrate the result

Senate inquiry calls for ban on single-use plastics Australian recycling is in crisis and a new Senate report says the long-term solution is to create “a circular recycling economy”, cut down on waste generation and fund infrastructure to recycle domestically.


aterial for recycling has been piling up in collection centres or dumped in landfills after China announced it would no longer take 99 per cent of the 1.27 million tonnes that Australia had previously exported there. Previously, up to 50 per cent of all Australian recycling was being sold to China. The Senate report says the current recycling crisis offered an opportunity to reform Australia’s waste system. It sets out a plan to create a “circular economy” – where all materials used in Australia are then recovered and reused domestically.  It recommended all single-use plastics be banned by 2023. Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who chaired the inquiry, said it was “a rare display of political consensus” across Labor, Liberal and the Greens. “The Senate has laid down a clear pathway for Australia to create a circular economy and stop piles of plastic, paper and glass being stockpiled or heading to landfill,” he said.

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 23


The long history of Indigenous nursing The complex relationship between nursing and Indigenous Australians includes a long tradition of Indigenous nurses, a panel of Indigenous nursing experts told an audience on International Women’s Day this year.


unty Dulcie Flower, a trained midwife who was instrumental in setting up Aboriginal medical services in the 1970s, spoke of the disenfranchisement of Indigenous women from the mainstream health system, including Indigenous women in childbirth being turned away from maternity wards in the early stages of labour. “A close relative died in childbirth and she shouldn’t have … and that was through lack of attention,” she told the audience at the panel to celebrate Indigenous nu r s e s , or g a n i s e d by t he University of Technology Sydney’s Jumbunna Institute. The oldest of seven children, Aunty Dulcie said she “always had a sense of being singled out to do things on behalf of other people”. In her community she saw that “Torres Strait Islander people just wouldn’t go to hospital because they were on the mission … Cairns was the only hospital covering a whole district.” While Indigenous people have felt marginalised from the mainstream medical system, the history of Indigenous nursing nevertheless goes back to as early as 1906, when May Yarrowick, a northern NSW woman, trained to be a midwife.

24 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘We are changing the research agenda; we’re having an impact on funding bodies.’ — Professor Juanita Sherwood

“She worked as a midwife on a horse and dray until she passed away in 1949,” said Associate Professor Odette Best, a trained nurse and now an academic and nursing historian at the University of Southern Queensland. May’s father was Indigenous and her mother was white. When her mother died, “her mother’s family claimed May,” Professor Best explained. Growing up with her mother’s white family gave her access to education and white privileges and she trained in Crown Street Hospital. But it didn’t protect her from the racism of the hospital system, as she discovered when she found the matron’s notes in the Crown Street Hospital’s records. “She wrote that [being a] half-caste was not enough reason not to train her however, she was not to be housed with the other student midwives. So, she was actually segregated.” Professor Best’s work, uncovering the history of Indigenous nursing in

Australia is important in changing what she describes as the “discourse of Aboriginal women as passive recipients of healthcare”. In fact, as she remarks: “We’ve actually been active providers of health care for well over 120 years in this country.”

DISCRIMINATION IS COMMON In Professor Best’s interviews with Indigenous nurses, she has found that “racism is something that every single one of us and every single RN I have interviewed all talk about receiving since the 1940s onwards … from other nurses or patients or administrators of hospitals. “Aboriginal nurses haven’t been afforded the same privileges that white nurses have, due to racism. Promotions [were] always afforded to the white nurse and not the Aboriginal nurse – unless it was on missions, because white nurses didn’t want to go there – and so Aboriginal nurses were matrons there.”


Aunty Dulcie spoke about the importance of Aboriginal medical services for creating spaces where Indigenous people can exercise greater self-determination in their own healthcare. “The mainstream system is run on looking at body parts and they separate the mind from the body … and they don’t think about spirituality, except for the religious hospitals. “And this is so contrary to the way Aboriginal people view health. Health is a state of being to Aboriginal people.” It means a holistic approach: “What affects the individual affects the community; what affects the community affects the individual,” Aunty Dulcie said. Professor Juanita Sherwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Strategy and Services at the University of Sydney, spoke about the way “colonialisation and racism are key determinants of health” for Indigenous people. For her, terms such as “cultural competence” and “cultural safety”, are useful if they mean teaching non-Indigenous people about their own whiteness and privilege and how they actually impact upon Aboriginal health. She sees some hope for the future though, as Indigenous nurses and advocates are beginning to have an impact on health policy and research. “We are changing the research agenda; we’re having an effect on funding bodies, the National Health and Medical Research Councils, ARCs. A whole lot of those funding and grant bodies are [beginning to be] open to our ways of knowing and being and doing.” ■

The panel’s advice for Indigenous student nurses Aunty Dulcie Flower: Don’t be afraid to share the good times and the bad times. If you are getting a hard time, particularly on your placement, make sure you go and tell your senior person. Do not endure bullying. Professor Best: I always tell our Indigenous students that there is always an expectation that you’re going to go and work in your community. I give them the exact opposite advice. Go out and have fun: get a visa, see the world, work out the speciality you want to work in. You are going to work in the community at some stage and the more skills you bring to the community, the better for your community and for yourself. Professor Sherwood: It’s really important to debrief. Find your voice. It is difficult to be a whistleblower; you do need the protection of your association – join your association. They are only as strong as the membership, so please when you do graduate, join the local nurses’ association and please take an active role in that.

FIND OUT MORE You can listen to the entire discussion from the Junbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research seminar held on International Nurses Day at: THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 25





25 JULY 2018

Rosehill Gardens Racecourse GRAND PAVILION 9am to 5pm REGISTRATION OPENS AT 7.30AM EARLY BIRD PRICING (until 30 June) Members $100 Non-members $150 Associate (student & retired) members $50 Branch Officials Free


WELCOME DRINKS Cost: $40 per person Branch Officials: Free


AFTER (1–17 July) $150 $225 $75 Free

5.30 – 7pm following the conclusion of Professional Day


Sophie Scott, ABC National Medical Reporter WELCOME TO COUNTRY





Koomurri Performance Troupe 9.30-10.30

Jordan Nguyen, Biomedical Engineer and Inventor



















Donovan Jones, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery and Shanna Fealy, Early Career Researcher, University of Newcastle


Mary Chiarella, Professor of Nursing, The University of Sydney


Neil Sharwood, Chief Operations Officer, Australian 3D Manufacturing Association


Dr Lisa Nissen, Professor and Head of School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology


Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery and Higher Degree Research Director, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University Jacqui Cross, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

Brett Holmes, General Secretary and Judith Kiejda, Assistant General Secretary, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Tracey Spicer AM




Author, journalist and TV presenter

Biomedical engineer and inventor Intersection Between Technology & Humanity


Tracey Spicer is no wallflower. She has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9, Sky News and Radio 2UE. Tracey is a Fairfax columnist; presentation trainer for Outspoken Women, and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School; and media trainer at Spicer Communications. Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice and commitment to equality, she also has a wicked sense of humour. Tracey has written, produced and presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and India, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia. Tracey is the co-founder and national convenor of Women in Media, a nationwide mentoring and networking group, backed by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

SOPHIE SCOTT Sophie Scott is an awardwinning journalist and the ABC’s National Medical Reporter. Sophie’s stories appear on the ABC’s flagship news bulletin at 7 pm, Lateline, Stateline and 7.30 Report, and her reports can be seen throughout the Asia-Pacific Region, through ABC’s Australia TV network. She can also be heard on ABC radio, presenting a fortnightly show on ABC News 24 called The Health Quarter. She was an executive of the Australian Medical Writers Association and is on the board of the Australian Medical Association Charitable Foundation NSW.

DONOVAN JONES As an early career researcher with The University of Newcastle, Donovan Jones is a member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute HMRI and BRICS nursing and midwifery research network, has presented research internationally for various research projects in the areas of technology using virtual and augmented realities; perinatal mental health, and teaching and learning innovations associated with midwifery and health care.

SHANNA FEALY Shanna Fealy is an early career researcher and current PhD candidate with the University of Newcastle. Shanna’s research interests surround improving maternal and infant health. She is currently investigating antenatal weighing and gestational weight gain through her PhD work. More recently Shanna has been involved with the development and implementation of virtual and augmented reality within midwifery education.


Dr Jordan Nguyen is an acclaimed thought leader on the intersection between technology and humanity. At a moment of the most extraordinary breakthroughs in our understanding of the human brain, Jordan has a magical combination of technical brilliance with the unique ability to inspire people. Upon completing his PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Jordan was accepted into the prestigious UTS Chancellor’s List. As founder of Psykinetic, he designs life-changing technologies focusing on intelligent, futuristic and inclusive technology. Drawing on his experience of almost breaking his own neck, Jordan developed a mindcontrolled smart wheelchair for people with high-level physical disability. Jordan is a NSW State Finalist for Australian of the Year 2017. His recent documentary, Becoming Superhuman won the 2017 Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.

NEIL SHARWOOD Neil Sharwood is the founder and COO of the Australian 3D Manufacturing Association. He has advised both state and federal governments on the advent of distributed manufacturing. Neil has worked in both public and private sectors including roles with the Department of Finance and Australian Associated Press.

DR LISA NISSEN Dr Lisa Nissen is Professor and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology. Her focus is on improving the quality use of medicines in the wider community, across the health care continuum, with a focus on health service development and factors that influence the prescribing of medicines. She has been a key expert advisor in the development of the National Prescribing Competencies Framework and the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway. She has was named Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Young Pharmacist of the Year in 2002 and Pharmacist of the Year in 2008.

JACQUI CROSS Jacqui Cross commenced in the role of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for NSW Health in July 2016. A registered nurse, Jacqui has held a variety of nursing roles within NSW Health including clinical nursing roles, as a RN, NUM and Nurse Manager. Jacqui has experience in senior nursing management positions as the DON at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead from 2012–2015, with her most recent role being a member of the senior executive team as Director of Nursing and Midwifery at South Western Sydney LHD.

MARY CHIARELLA Mary Chiarella is Professor of Nursing, Susan Wakil School of Nursing at the University of Sydney. In 2003/04, she was the Chief Nursing Officer, NSW Health Department and prior to, the Foundation Professor of Nursing in Corrections Health, with the University of Technology, Sydney. Internationally, she has worked for ICN and WHO on health professional regulatory work. She currently chairs the Health Care Quality Committee for Northern Sydney LHD and is a member of the Clinical Governance Advisory Committee to Healthdirect Australia. Mary’s particular research interests focus on legal, policy and ethical issues in nursing, midwifery and healthcare delivery.

HANNAH DAHLEN Hannah Dahlen is the Professor of Midwifery and Higher Degree Research Director in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. She has been a midwife for 28 years and still practises. Hannah has strong national and international research partnerships, has received 20 grants since 2000, including being CI on three NHMRC grants and an ARC Linkage grant, and has had over 150 publications. In November 2012, Hannah was named in the Sydney Morning Herald’s list of 100 “people who change our city for the better”. A panellist on the selection panel for the special feature in the (Sydney) magazine, described Professor Dahlen as “probably the leading force promoting natural birth and midwife-led care in Australia.” THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 27



Tobacco and alcohol ‘are a global health threat’ Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threats to human health around the world, according to Australian research. The study found that globally, nearly 20 per cent of adults reported drinking heavily in the last month. Around 15 per cent of adults smoked daily. About four per cent had used cannabis and less than one per cent reported using opioids, amphetamines or cocaine in the past year. Out of every 100,000 people around the world, 111 are estimated to die from tobacco-related causes, 33 from alcohol-related causes, and seven from illegal drug use. Reviewing the research, the health website NHS Choices commented that: “Indeed, a case could be made that if tobacco and alcohol had only been discovered a few years ago, both may now have been added to the list of Class A illegal drugs”. Eastern Europe had the highest rates of harmful alcohol and illegal drug use. The lowest rates of alcohol consumption were in North Africa and the Middle East. The highest rates of tobacco-related deaths and ill health occurred in Oceania. High rates of cannabis, opioid and cocaine dependence were found in the US and Canada, while the highest rates of amphetamine dependence were found in Australia. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Addiction.

‘A case could be made that if tobacco and alcohol had only been discovered a few years ago, both may now have been added to the list of Class A illegal drugs.’ — NHS Choices


Higher taxation is the only way to fix NHS – think tanks The NHS needs £2,000 per household to stay afloat according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Health Foundation. Taxes will “almost certainly” have to rise over the coming years simply to prevent the National Health Service and social care system from slipping further into crisis, their new report reveals. Funding the projected increases in health spending through the tax system would need taxes to rise by between 1.6 and 2.6 per cent of GDP – the equivalent of between £1,200 and £2,000 per household, the experts said. The report stresses that countries such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands already roughly devote this share of national income to health and elderly social care. “If we are to have a health and social care system that meets our needs and aspirations, we will have to pay a lot more for it over the next 15 years. This time we won’t be able to rely on cutting spending elsewhere – we will have to pay more in tax,” the IFS’s director Paul Johnson told The Independent newspaper. The IFS/Health Foundation report was commissioned by the NHS Confederation, which represents NHS providers. A recent British Social Attitudes poll indicated majority support for tax increases to generate more funding for the NHS.

‘If we are to have a health and social care system that meets our needs and aspirations, we will have to pay a lot more for it over the next 15 years.’ — Paul Johnson, Institute for Fiscal Studies. 28 | THE LAMP JULY 2018


Notice for Members


Australia is a world leader in insecure work Only 60 per cent of the Australian workforce is in standard, secure work according to a new report from the ACTU. The report, Australia’s insecure work crisis: Fixing it for the future, finds that Australia has the third-highest rate of non-standard forms of work in the OECD. Around 40 percent of all workers have fallen into insecure work, are part-time or on short-term contracts, are employed through a labour-hire firm, the new “gig economy”, or as supposedly “independent” contractors. Employers often use these forms of work to avoid their legal obligations to their employees, the ACTU report says. “A full-time, standard employee can expect all the leave entitlements, superannuation contributions and workplace protections that the union movement has fought for over centuries,” it says. “A labour-hire worker, or someone on a short-term contract, has little bargaining power and takes enormous risk standing up for better rights, as well as having fewer rights than other workers in the first place.” ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus, says the level of insecure work we have in Australia “is not normal”. “It is far worse than most OECD countries and it has got much worse over just one generation. It runs through everything. When you are not secure in your job, you have less rights, greater stress. It affects your everyday life and that of your family. This has to change,” she says.

Read more Australia’s insecure work crisis: Fixing it for the future: insecure-work_final-18052018-final.pdf workers are in non-traditional forms of employment6.In its 2015 publication on inequality the OECD “awarded” Australia a podium finish in the race for the highest proportion of “non-standard workers”. Australia, the so-called lucky country, finished in the top three OECD countries when measuring the proportion of non-standard workers in total employment7. See Figure 1 below which is reproduced from the OECD publication. It can be seen from Figure 1 that the OECD concluded in 2015 that roughly 40% of all employment in Australia is non-standard.

Figure 1: Non-standard employment as a share of total employment

Australia's insecure work crisis:

Fixing it for the future

This meeting of ANMF NSW Branch Council instructs the Branch: 1. T  o proceed as required with the election for Branch Secretary, Assistant Branch Secretary and Members of Branch Council (21) from the whole of the membership through the AEC process; and 2. T  o seek an exemption pursuant to s186 Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (“the Act”) for the Branch Returning Officer rather than the AEC to conduct collegiate elections for the positions of Branch President, Branch VicePresident and Branch Executive Members (6) in accordance with Rules 85.3, 85.4.3 and 85B and s183 of the Act; and 3. In the event that the Registered Organisations Commission does not grant the Branch’s exemption application, then Council accepts that the AEC will conduct the elections.” Under the Act, the Branch is required to notify all members of the above resolution. This notice has also been published on the website www.nswnma. and by email and SMS to those members for whom valid email addresses and mobile phone numbers are held. Any queries should be directed to Tony O’Grady, Manager Projects and Compliance, on 02 8595 1234 (Metro) or 1300 367 962 (non-metro).

60% of total employment is comprised of standard jobs. The remainder of our employed


The Role of Non-Traditional Work in the Australian Labour Market’ Productivity Commission Research Paper May 2006

Insecure work

On 5 June 2018 Branch Council passed the following resolution:

Source: OECD, “In it together: Why less inequality benefits all”, May 2015, Figure 4.1.

Because Australia has been a global pacesetter in creating precarious jobs, today only about

Authorised by S. McManus, ACTU Secretary, 365 Queen St, Melbourne 3000. ACTU D No. 88/2018

ANMF NSW Branch Elections: President, Vice President, Executive Members Elections for the offices of Branch President, Branch Vice President and Branch Executive Members (6) shall be conducted in November this year. As these positions shall be elected by and from Branch Council [already elected by the full membership in an election conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)], the ANMF NSW Branch is seeking an exemption from the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) to allow the Branch Returning Officer to conduct the elections. This is in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the Act).

7 OECD, “In it together: Why lower inequality benefits all” 2015, Figure 4.1, Page 140. In this publication the OECD defines non-standard workers as the proportion of own-account, self-employed, temporary workers and part-time workers in total employment. As noted above there is ongoing discussion among Labour Statisticians about whether part-time employment should be counted as non-standard and insecure. However up until now both the OECD and the ILO have included part-time workers in their definition and assessment of non-standard work. For the ILO perspective on this see their publication “Non-standard employment around the World”, 2016 pp 75 to 86. In the future it is possible that the OECD will alter their definition to only include involuntary part-time employment in the measurement of “non-standard employment”. But even on this revised definition Australia still finishes among the 4 OECD countries with the highest proportion of non-standard employment in total employment.


THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 29



A ‘gene map’ for depression Scientists have mapped the genetic foundations of depression in unprecedented detail. In the world’s largest investigation into the impact of DNA on depression, a team of more than 200 researchers identified 44 gene variants that raise the risk of depression. Of those, 30 have never been connected to the condition before, reports The Guardian. The study, published in Nature Genetics, revealed a substantial overlap in the genetics that underpins depression and other mental disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and also body mass index, where DNA that predisposes people to obesity also raises the risk of depression. “If you have a lower genetic burden of depression, perhaps you are more resistant to the stressors we all experience in life,” said Cathryn Lewis, Professor of Statistical Genetics and a senior author on the study at King’s College London. Previous studies suggest that genetics explains about 40 per cent of depression, with the rest being driven by other biological factors and life experiences. According to the World Health Organization, clinical depression is the leading cause of disability, costing the global economy as much as $1 trillion annually. It affects 300 million people and can affect as many as one in four people over a lifetime. As many as three per cent of people with major depressive disorder attempt suicide.

‘If you have a lower genetic burden of depression, perhaps you are more resistant to the stressors we all experience in life.’ — Cathryn Lewis, Professor of Statistical Genetics.

30 | THE LAMP JULY 2018


A sharp rise in British mortality attributed to austerity A slowdown in life expectancy for the average person in Britain is worse than anything seen since the early 1890s and austerity is the likely cause, experts say. In the first seven weeks of 2018, over 10,000 (12.4 per cent) more people died in England and Wales than was usual for the time of year, reports The Independent newspaper. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers link the increase in morbidity with “a huge number of measures of the nation’s health that have deteriorated”. This includes “a very rapid and largely unreported recent increase in the numbers of deaths among mental health patients in care in England and Wales. Many waiting-time and NHS-response targets are now not being met due to a lack of resources”. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in many areas of the country, and for poorer groups, life expectancy had already been falling before 2018. The infant mortality rates for the poorest families in the UK have risen significantly since 2011. In 1990, the UK ranked seventh best in Europe by neonatal mortality rate. By 2015, it ranked 19th. The researchers say the government’s austerity measures rather than a heavy flu season or cold weather are the most likely cause of the increase in mortality. “Research has demonstrated that cuts to the welfare payments of elderly people and disability benefits have had statistically significant effects on the rise of mortality in recent years,” they say.

‘Cuts to the welfare payments of elderly people and disability benefits have had statistically significant effects on the rise of mortality in recent years.’



Visceral fat has more to do with diet than genes A study looking at people’s genetics, gut bacteria and faeces has found a strong relationship between gut bacteria and fat around the waist. Researchers measured chemicals called metabolites, which are produced by gut bacteria in faeces. Some of these metabolites are the result of bacteria processing food into fat, which is then stored around the body, particularly around the waist. Researchers looked at how much these chemicals varied according to people’s genes and how much by other factors. They found most of the variation (68 per cent) was down to the bacteria living in people's guts. Genes had a much smaller effect, only being responsible for 18 per cent of the variation. The results suggest that people’s gut bacteria – partly inherited, but strongly influenced by what we eat – play an important role in regulating metabolites that affect fat storage around the waist. The researchers said that adjusting people's diets to encourage growth of bacteria that produce healthier metabolites might be a future way of treating or preventing obesity. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Genetics.

‘Adjusting people’s diets to encourage growth of bacteria that produce healthier metabolites might be a future way of treating or preventing obesity.’


Cannabis addiction increases among women and over 40s While cannabis is seen as a young person’s drug a new study suggests this may not be entirely true. Using data from Public Health England researchers found the number of over-40s seeking treatment had more than doubled over the past 10 years for cannabis-related problems – rising from 471 to 1,008 – and from 27,092 to 64, 195 for treatment for any drug. The researchers suggest that the increase in treatment for cannabis use among middle-aged or older adults could be because cannabis strength has increased over time, so people could be experiencing more problems from stronger strains. Report author Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in addiction at York University, told the BBC: “The narrative is that cannabis is a young person’s problem. “That is still the case, but we are seeing a steady and significant rise in addiction problems amongst people over 40, particularly women. “Cannabis is cheap and widely available. And many women consider it to be benign. “Older people were probably used to cannabis at a lower strength. Now, the market is awash with higher potency stuff, often grown domestically. “In some cases, resin can be nearly three times stronger than drugs on the street in 2005.” More information: Rising numbers of older and female cannabis users seeking treatment in England and Wales: Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

‘Older people were probably used to cannabis at a lower strength. Now, the market is awash with higher potency stuff, often grown domestically.’ THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 31


Private hospital patient numbers drop Rising costs and concerns about affordability are responsible say experts.


recent repor t by investment bank Credit Suisse found that private patients were increasingly opting to join public waiting lists. The report says one of the main reasons patients are fleeing private health is the cost of surgeon’s fees. Credit Suisse says that on average private elective surgical patients pay around 50 per cent of the surgeon’s fee in addition to the private health insurance excess. They also pay for any anaesthesia fees, radiology and pathology tests or hospital stay costs. “As affordability remains a key issue for consumers we believe the primary reason for the underutilisation of private hea lth insurance is the rise in out-of-pocket costs associated with a surgical procedure,” the report said. “While longer-term drivers of demand for private hospital services remain in place – ageing population – we think it is unlikely that we will see a recovery in utilisation in the short term as long as affordability pressures continue to shift patients into the public system.” Ramsay Health Care took a $1 billion dollar hit on its share value last month after the company admitted that rising costs and affordability were causing their patient numbers to drop. Ramsay CEO Craig McNally said there had been a significant drop in their maternity patients during May alone.

32 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

‘There was a ‘ramped up trend’ of privately-insured patients electing to have their babies in public hospitals because out-of-pocket costs could be as high as $10,000 in a private setting.’ “I don’t have the absolute answer for that at the moment but I’m sure affordability is a part of that,” he told The Australian. He said there was a “ramped up trend” of privately insured patients electing to have their babies in public hospitals because out-of-pocket costs could be as high as $10,000 in a private setting. “In May there was a surprising 12 per cent decrease in maternity and I believe that is an out-of-pocket issue,” he said.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST INSURERS ON THE RISE T he p ubl ic ’s de c r e a s i n g enthusiasm for private health insurance because of affordability can also be seen in polls and the number of complaints. A Galaxy poll of more than 2000 respondents in March found that over half of Australians with private health insurance say it is no longer worth the expense. The same month the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

reported that there had been a record 30 per cent increase in the total number of complaints in 2016-17. “The increase of over 1300 complaints within one year is the largest rise we have experienced over the last 10 years,” it said. Economic commentator Ross Gittens says it is clear why people have a declining interest in private health insurance. “Most people under 60 only get a fraction back of what they pay. Often when you do claim you don’t get what you expected because you don’t get choice of doctor or a private room, you’re caught by ever changing exclusions from your policy, or because no one warned you about a huge gap payment,” he said. “Private insurance is so counter productive the best thing would be to end the ($6.5 billion of government) subsidies and use the saving to improve the performance of the public system.”



Judith Breaking News A broken system As we have recently reported several times in The Lamp, Association officers have exercised their statutory powers to undertake ‘right of entry’ (‘ROE’) actions in a range of hospitals. The purpose of these visits has been to access documents due to suspicions that Nursing Hours Per Patient Day (NHPPD) requirements, along with other rights, were not being adhered to as required under Clause 53 of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award (‘Award’). The ROE action initiated by the Association provided, unfortunately, compelling evidence of widespread noncompliance with basic NHPPD requirements under the Award. Thousands upon thousands of nursing hours have been lost and withheld. It revealed on the part of some hospitals/ LHDs a disturbing and somewhat casual approach to their legal obligations under the Award and Clause 53. Budgetary concerns seemed to have, in some instances, a greater importance than maintaining minimum, safe staffing levels. Local policies were also identified during this process that unfairly fettered the rights of NUMs and nurse managers to exercise their clinical leadership when managing workloads and absences. Constraints were applied at odds with the Award. It is not enough for the NSW government or Ministry of Health to now take a belated interest in enforcing the Award, which is in part due to the sheer embarrassment of what the Association and its members have discovered. What has been revealed is a broken staffing system requiring rejuvenation for the benefit of patients, and nursing and midwifery staff.

The role of the Reasonable Workload Committee I am a registered nurse working in a public hospital. When talking to my colleagues and the Branch, it is often said that the Reasonable Workload Committee at the hospital is dysfunctional. What is the intended role of the committee? Under Clause 53 of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2017, the intended role of the committee is to “…provide a structured and transparent forum for all nurses to be genuinely consulted

When it comes to your rights and entitlements at work, NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda has the answers.

about workload matters through an appropriate mechanism; contribute to the decision-making process; and have the ability to resolve disputes about workloads, should they arise, through the committee process and provisions in this Award”. It includes but is not limited to discussing and resolving issues about “… nursing workloads generally, the provision of specialist advice, training, and planning for bed or ward closures or openings as they relate to nursing workloads”.

Disciplinary process in a Ramsay Hospital

I work in a hospital operated by Ramsay. I have been invited to a meeting to discuss a complaint. What can I expect? Clause 2.5 of the Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Limited, and NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association / ANMF Enterprise Agreement 2015– 2018 sets out the expected process. In short, a staff member has a “right to be provided with the details of any complaint made against them and have the right of reply before any decision will be made”. You also have the right to have a support person present at any disciplinary meeting held with you. In cases that do not involve gross misconduct, in which the process can be circumvented, you would normally expect to be counselled at first instance. The facts of the matter would, of course, determine the approach adopted.

Increasing contracted hours at Whiddon

I work at an aged care facility run by The Whiddon Group. I am parttime but have been working over my hours for some time. Can I have my contracted hours varied to reflect this? Clause 14.2 of The Whiddon Group Agreement 2017 entitles a permanent part-time employee to request a review of their guaranteed minimum number of hours of work on one occasion each financial year, where they are regularly working more than their guaranteed minimum number of hours. Whiddon must

give reasonable consideration to the request, although covering shifts due to staff being on leave or one-off additional hours due to a temporary increase in care would not be generally taken into account. Any increase in hours agreed to must be recorded in writing.

Meal breaks in patient transport services

I am thinking about applying for an RN position with HealthShare – patient transport services. I believe they have a different approach to meal breaks. Clause 4(x)(d) of the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2017 sets out the meal break provisions applicable to nurses employed by HealthShare to work in their patient transport services. In short, you receive a paid crib break of 30 minutes, which is counted as part of your time worked. However, if you are unable to access this crib break within the prescribed times or is not completed, additional payments arise.

Education allowance at Opal I recently obtained a job as a registered nurse in a nursing home operated by Opal Aged Care. I hold an additional qualification that is related to my duties at the facility. Are these recognised in some way? Clause 18.5 (Continuing Education Allowance) in the Opal Aged Care (NSW) Enterprise Agreement 2016 sets out that a registered nurse or enrolled nurse who holds a qualification in a clinical field, in addition to the qualification leading to registration or enrolment, shall be paid an allowance subject to certain conditions. The most important is that the qualification must be accepted by the employer to be directly relevant to the competency and skills used by the employee in the duties of the position. The allowances payable are set out in Schedule D of the agreement and vary depending on whether they are a postgraduate certificate, diploma or degree. THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 33

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Friday 10 August, Tweed Heads: Venous Insufficiency Friday 21 September, Ballina: Arterial Insufficiency Friday 5 October, Byron Bay: Pressure Injuries Members $95 / non-members $190 (each session)






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Monday 24 September, Waterloo Members $95 / non-members $190 This program will provide you with the skills and tools to build your confidence in becoming an inspiring and motivational thought leader. $

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Not enough respect shown to ENs AGED CARE RALLY FOR RATIOS Nurses and midwives celebrated International Nurses’ Day by rallying for ratios in aged care across Australia.

MANLY NURSES AND MIDWIVES RALLY FOR ANSWERS Nurses and midwives who were set to strike at Manly and Mona Vale hospitals held a rally demanding answers about their jobs at the New Northern Beaches Hospital. Connect with us on Facebook Nurse Uncut www.facebook. com/NurseUncutAustralia New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association Ratios put patient safety first safepatientcare Aged Care Nurses agedcarenurses Look for your local branch on our Facebook page

Unfortunately, it’s somewhat common for student nurses to be treated poorly, be spoken down to or even belittled for speaking up. Just because they’re a student. This is disappointing and for some nurses this can continue for many years, in many forms. au/not-enough-respect-shown-to-ens/

Why nurses and midwives should care about cuts to the ABC The Federal Budget handed down in May by the Coalition government has a number of problems. While the lack of health funding is an obvious issue, Professor Ed Davis explains below why cuts to the ABC will impact nurses and midwives too.

Heterosexual HIV diagnoses have increased in NSW and it’s easier than ever to get tested It was HIV Testing Week in June and new data from NSW has shown an increase in the number of HIV diagnoses among heterosexual people in this state. Heterosexuals now comprise one fifth of new HIV diagnoses. hivtestingweek/

Get a politician to commit to climate change action like these nurses did World Environment Day was 5 June! To celebrate a lot of the great work nurses do towards a healthier, greener planet, we’re highlighting some recent actions on Nurse Uncut. au/want-climate-change-action-geta-politician-to-commit-to-action-likethese-nurses-did/

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PhD candidate and RN, Sarah Smith, is looking for RNs, RN/RMs and EENs to complete a short online survey and take part in online interviews. https://www.

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THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 35

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The pressure of violence

What nurses and midwives said and liked on Facebook

in healthcare. The physical and verbal abuse staff deal with on a daily basis would shock people. We take it in our stride and put care first. Having been in the firing line of these people, it’s simply not on. As nurses, we don’t come to work to get hit, and we don’t get paid to get hit. More has to be done to stop this.

We posted about the growing number of violent incidents against nurses and midwives in our hospitals and facilities. Here’s what you had to say about that: This happened to me at work today. A patient’s husband got angry. He started punching his own hand and was yelling and swearing at me. Then he advanced towards me, swinging and swearing. I was not hit. But I was scared. I must admit that during my nursing days many moons ago, we were rarely treated in this manner. If an incident did occur, it was usually due to a mental health issue. The decrease in funding to our hospital system has put so much pressure on our health professionals. Add in the illegal use of drugs and excessive alcohol and we have reached breaking point. It is time to take a stand and protect our medical staff from political decisions that put them at risk. Mental health hospital closures are partly to blame. There should be an ED dedicated to mental health, with specifically trained staff. Unfortunately, this is now the price we pay for working

Ignorance persists about a nurse’s role A nurse’s daughter thought that she just passed things on to doctors. We asked if people truly understood what nurses and midwives do: No, and they never get enough credit for what they do and are capable of doing. Without them, hospitals and health facilities would struggle to function or exist. Some people think we just empty bedpans!!! Nurses and midwives do so much more than people seem to realise. They really are a jack-of-all-trades. Can someone please let some of the doctors I work with know? Apparently, I went to uni for three years just to operate the bed remotes, print patient ID stickers and neatly arrange things on a suture trolley.

the gallery


Brett speaks truth to power NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes spoke on the Today show about the chronic shortage of midwives in NSW public hospitals. You agreed that this simply wasn’t good enough: I agree with Mr Holmes. A nurse from another ward cannot fulfil the role of an experienced midwife. The government is in denial, and the pressure on staffing is enormous. When new midwives are hired, the number is only sufficient to fill vacant positions. This crisis is affecting people across the state. There is only so much one person can do. If only the qualifying of patients was modernised to reflect these duties and include babies as patients, ward ratios would work out better on a midwife-to-patient ratio. With better ratios, there will be better retention of staff and safer care for women and babies. Good job, Brett. NSW Health may claim that thousands of new nurses have been hired over the last six year but how many nurses have left in the same time period? Mr Holmes is telling the truth. It’s time for NSW health to tell the truth too! Come to my hospital and then tell me there’s no shortage when we have students running the postnatal ward ’cause there are not enough senior staff.




/5 1/ B  lacktown Labor MP Stephen Bali pledges to support our Ratios campaign 2/ N  urses and community members gather in Broken Hill to support safe staffing in aged care 3/ F  airfield Hospital nurses garner Prospect MP Hugh McDermott’s support for nurse-topatient ratios 4/ Grafton aged care nurses show their support for Ratios in aged care 5/ Aged care nurses celebrate a successful NO vote against a substandard pay offer from Allity

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 37

Going to work shouldn’t be like this


Download the NSWNMA App and report your workplace violence incident. The NSWNMA has a tool as part of our NSWNMA Tool Kit App that allows you to quickly report an incident to the Association as soon as it happens. It’s an easy fillable form you can submit from your mobile device and an officer of the Association will be in touch with you. Nursing is considered one of the most dangerous professions. HELP STOP VIOLENCE AT WORK! NSWNMA Toolkit App is FREE and available to download from iTunes and Google Play store 38 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

NURSING RESEARCH ONLINE ‘Birthing on Country’ is a model of maternity care of Indigenous women that is community based, incorporates traditional practices, connects land and country and a holistic understanding of health; and is developed by and/or with Indigenous people. Birthing on Country AWAYE! ABC Radio National With Indigenous births on the rise, Aboriginal midwives hope to help Indigenous families feel more comfortable about accessing prenatal and antenatal care. Marni Tuala is an NSW Board Director for the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and the first Aboriginal midwife to be appointed at the Tweed Heads District Hospital. Last year, CATSINaM formed a partnership with the Australian College of Midwives, the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland to deliver the Birthing on Country maternity services program. Marni shares what Birthing on Country means for contemporary Aboriginal women – particularly in regional and remote areas. awaye/2017-07-29/8746488

Birthing on Country project Australian College of Midwives The Birthing on Country (BoC) Project’s main focus is improving birth outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mother and babies. It brings together community members and health services with a goal to establish Aboriginal BoC models of maternity care, whether it be Aboriginal Midwifery Group Practices, birthing in hospital with a known midwife or stand-alone Aboriginal birth centres. This is in collaboration with community members and the support of health services, health professionals and state and national governments. Currently there is funding to establish three demonstration sites in Australia – urban, remote and very remote. Part of the project is establishing a Birthing on Country Framework for Maternity Care and developing a Cultural Safety training package that supports the implementation and efficacy of BoC models of maternity care. Birthing on Country “… should be understood as a metaphor for the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and their families because it provides an integrated, holistic and culturally appropriate model of care; not only biophysical outcomes … it’s much, much broader than just the labour and delivery … (it) deals with sociocultural and spiritual risk that is not dealt with in the current systems.” Birthing on Country Workshop Report 2013

In 2015, together with the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and CRANAplus, ACM signed a joint position statement on ‘Birthing on Country’ in support of establishing BoC models of care in Australia.

Birthing on Country could deliver healthier babies and communities The Conversation Imagine you are 36 weeks pregnant and about to have your third baby. You come from a small community, but you can’t give birth at your local hospital because the maternity ward has closed down. Instead, you’re told you have to go to a hospital in a big city you’ve never been to before, hours away from anyone you know, which feels as foreign as being sent to another country. Doctors say it’s safer in the big city hospital, where they have lots of specialists if anything goes wrong. Unfortunately your partner, children and other family members are not able to come because you can’t afford to pay their travel and accommodation. You don’t speak the language. You didn’t choose to come here. You are all alone. You are so uncomfortable and so stressed – so how could this be good for baby? This happens regularly to Aboriginal women across Australia. In many cases, being sent to a major city a long way from home to birth is equivalent to being sent to a foreign country. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We could reduce the number of babies being born too early and dying before they reach their first birthday. We could make a difference to every stage of life – reduce chronic disease, improve mental health, reduce drug and alcohol abuse and reduce community violence. We could save our health system millions of dollars. And the benefits could extend beyond health; strengthening parenting roles and restoring skills and community pride. And we know that all that can be done, because it’s already been shown to work in Canada.

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 39


Celeste flare, Western Darling Downs, Queensland

& PUBLIC HEALTH CONFERENCE Wednesday, 15 August 2018


The Crossing Theatre, 117 Tibbereena St, Narrabri


Evening forum: A conference for all health professionals, including doctors, health service managers and health care workers in the Coal Seam Gas exploration areas of New South Wales.

Is the Precautionary Principle being applied in health impact assessments?


Dr Helen Redmond

Dr Geralyn McCarron

Full attendance (includes dinner) $85. Afternoon program only (without dinner) $50.

Shay Dougall

Dr Methuen Prof Melissa Morgan Haswell

CSG & Public Health Conference information line: 0416 077 753

Scholarships for the academic year 2019 Applications for the Edith Cavell Trust Scholarships are now being accepted for the academic year 2019. Members or Associate Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association or the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (NSW Branch) are invited to apply. All grants, awards or loans shall be made to financially assist nurses, midwives, assistants in nursing, assistants in midwifery (including students of those disciplines), and accredited nursing or midwifery organisations, schools and faculties in the furtherance of: (i) accredited nursing or midwifery studies; (ii) such academic research programs as are approved by the Trustees in the theory or practice of nursing or midwifery work; or (iii) clinical nursing education programs at graduate, post-graduate and continuing education professional development level; in accordance with a number of categories. Full details of the scholarship categories, how to apply and to obtain the official application form is available from the NSWNMA website. Prior to applying, please ensure you have read the Edith Cavell Trust Scholarship Rules. – click on ‘Professional’ 40 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

For further information contact: Scholarship Coordinator – The Edith Cavell Trust, 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo, NSW 2017 T 1300 367 962 E



test your

Knowledge 1





















22 23




27 28





ACROSS 1. Meningitis with serous exudation into the cerebral ventricles (6.10) 9. Infected and filled with pus 10. A coward 11. Choose 12. Formation of a sediment at the bottom of a liquid 15. A concave bone of the human foot 17. One of the four major blood groups

18. An adult male human 19. Unprompted, unpremeditated 21. The dorsal part of the arch of the foot 22. Mind; intellect 23. Resulting 25. To alter improperly 27. Pertaining to drastic therapy 28. The longitudinal position of a bone or limb

30. One hundredth of a metre (1.1) 31. The condition of being inspissated, as a fluid thickened by evaporation almost to a solid 32. A quick rotation of the eyes from one fixation point to another as in reading (8.8)

DOWN 1. Dilation of salivary ducts 2. Readjust after an initial failure 3. Immoral, improper, illegal 4. Using wrongly 5. Rheumatoid arthritis (6.10) 6. The back of the neck 7. A native or inhabitant of Iran 8. Containing both blood and pus 13. Orally administered vaccine containing live, attenuated strains of poliovirus (5.7) 14. The part of the embryo which forms the lateral and ventral walls of the foetus 16. Evaporable 20. Vocal order (1.1) 24. A group of atoms that has acquired a net electric charge by gaining or losing one or more electrons 25. Repetitive, twitching or jerking movements of any part of the face or body 26. Mental age (1.1) 27. Ribonucleoprotein (1.1.1) 29. Elderly Subnormal Mentally Infirm. (

THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 41


Winter warmers



Winter is here. Keep warm in NSWNMA winter favourites which are not only stylish and comfortable, but also affordable and sold at cost to members. 1 Long Sleeve Quick

Dry Polo Shirt $25 Australian made and owned. Sizes: XS-3XL. Poly/cotton, breathable light fabric with 2-button placket.



2 Navy Hoodies $45. Sizes:10-16 and S-3XL. 80% cotton/20%

poly brushed fleece, kangaroo pocket with full lining hood.

3 Red Hoodies $45. Sizes:10-16 and S-3XL. 80% cotton/20%

poly brushed fleece, kangaroo pocket with full lining hood.

4 Bonded Polar Fleece Zip Front Jacket $30. Sizes: S-3XL. 100%

polyester, high quality anti-pill polar fleece, extra deep pockets.

5 Active Soft Shell Navy Jacket $50. Sizes:10-18 and S-3XL.

Poly/spandex, micro polar fleece lining, breathable fabric.

ORDER FORM 1 Long Sleeve Quick Dry Polo Shirt $25. Quantity:








Name Address Postcode 3XL

Phone H MOB

2 Navy Hoodies $45. Quantity:


10 S

12 M

14 L

3 Red Hoodies $45. Quantity:


10 S

12 M

14 L

16 XL 16 XL





5 Active Soft Shell Navy Jacket $50. Quantity:

10 S

12 M

14 L

16 XL

18 XXL


Postage and Handling $5 per item. Total cost of order $ 42 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

Email Method of Payment Cheque MasterCard

4 Bonded Polar Fleece Zip Front Jacket $30. Quantity: Size: S M L XL XXL XXXL




Money Order

Name of card holder Card number Expiry date




FAX (02) 9662 1414 POST NSWNMA, 50 O’Dea Ave. Waterloo NSW 2017


book club

All the latest Book Club reviews from The Lamp can be read online at

DISCOUNT BOOKS FOR MEMBERS The Library is pleased to announce that McGraw-Hill Publishers are now offering members a 25% discount off the RRP! The offer currently covers medical as well as a range of other professional series books. Please see the online Book Me reviews for a link to the promotion code and further instructions, or contact the Library directly for further information.




A Nurse At The Front



Ruth Cowan Simon & Schuster: RRP $18.40. ISBN 9781849833660

Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, And Outcomes Meg Gulanick and Judith L Myers Health Sciences Division: RRP $48.47 ISBN 9780323428187

Covering the most common medicalsurgical nursing diagnoses and clinical problems seen in adults, Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes, 9th Edition contains 217 care plans, each reflecting the latest best practice guidelines.

Fast Facts On Combating Nurse Bullying, Incivility, And Workplace Violence Maggie Ciocco

Springer Publishing Company: au RRP $44.19 ISBN 9780729542852

This pocket-sized, quick-access guide gives nurses crucial information they need to know to understand, identify and effectively

counter incivility, bullying and violence in all nursing settings. This resource covers all aspects of bullying, including an overview of the problem; why nurses bully each other; and a discussion and quantification of the cost and impact of bullying on individuals, the workplace and the broader health care system.

Pocketbook Of Mental Health Eimar MuirCochrane, Patricia Barkway and Debra Nizette

Elsevier – Health Sciences Division www. RRP $50.96 ISBN 9781849050470

With an estimated 450 million people worldwide suffering from mental health problems, more health care workers now need a range of mental health skills in order to provide sufficient care across a variety of settings. The Pocketbook of Mental Health has a focus on social inclusion, recovery, culture and the promotion of consumer rights.


This book, the second in a series of four unique War Diaries produced C I in AL conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, tells a story that is rarely IN T E heard: the experiences of a nurse working close to the Western Front in the First World War. Incredibly, Edith Appleton served in France for the whole of the conflict. Her diary details with compassion all the horrors of the ‘war to end wars’, including the first use of poison gas and the terrible cost of battles such as Ypres, but she also records what life was like for nurses and how she spent her time off-duty. There are moments of humour amongst the tragedy, and even lyrical accounts of the natural beauty that still existed amidst all the destruction.

Cracking The Code: A Quick Reference Guide To Interpreting Patient Medical Notes Dr Katie Maddock M&K Publishing: www. RRP $67.25 ISBN 97

Cracking the Code covers the basics of the contents of patients’ medical notes. Common medical terminology used in reviewing physiological systems is briefly explained. Commonly encountered investigative procedures are defined and their use explained. Medical laboratory tests are similarly explored. This book will be of use not only to the undergraduate pharmacy students for whom it was originally developed but also to other healthcare professionals who routinely access patient medical notes.

All books can be ordered through the publisher or your local bookshop. NSWNMA members can borrow the books featured here via the Library’s Online Catalogue: visit http:// Call 8595 1234 or 1300 367 962, or email for assistance with loans or research. Some books are reviewed using information supplied and have not been independently reviewed. THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 43


For NSWNMA Members


your membership fees cover you if you are injured travelling to or from work? If you are injured in an accident while travelling to or from work, NSWNMA’s Journey Accident Insurance provides you with peace of mind with a Weekly Bodily Injury Benefit of up to 85% of your average gross weekly salary for a period of up to 104 weeks (after 7 day waiting period). As a financial member of the NSWNMA you are automatically covered by this policy. Make sure your membership remains financial at all times, so you’re covered.

Unsure if you are financial?

It’s easy! Ring and check today on 8595 1234 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (rural) Change your payment information online at 44 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

REVIEWS If you would like to be a movie reviewer, email




















at the movies



Mary Shelley Mary Shelley tells the story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin – author of one of the world’s most famous gothic novels Frankenstein – and her fiery, tempestuous relationship with renowned romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The pair are two outsiders constrained by polite society but bound together by a natural chemistry and progressive ideas that are beyond the boundaries of their age and time. Mary and Percy declare their love for each other and much to her family’s horror they run away together, joined by Mary’s half-sister Claire. In the midst of growing tension within their relationship during their stay at Lord Byron’s house at Lake Geneva, the idea of Frankenstein is conceived when a challenge is put to all house guests to write a ghost story. An incredible character is created, that will loom large in popular culture for centuries to come. But society at the time puts little value in female authors and at t the tender age of 18, Mary is forced to challenge these preconceptions, to protect her work and to forge her own identity. Mary Shelley is in cinemas 26 July 2018. Email The Lamp by 20 July to be in the draw to win a DVD to Mary Shelley thanks to Transmission Films. Email your name, membership number, address and telephone number to for a chance to win!

Tin Star Set in the majestic Canadian Rockies and starring BAFTA award-winning Tim Roth and six-time Emmy award nominee Christina Hendricks, Tin Star tells the story of Jim Worth, a former British detective now small town police chief, who brings his family to the tiny and tranquil town of Little Big Bear for a better life. Email The Lamp by the end of the month to be in the draw to win a DVD of Tin Star thanks to Acorn Media. Email your name, membership number, address and telephone number | to for a chance to win! THE LAMP JULY 2018 | 45


make a date

Diary Dates for conferences, seminars, meetings and reunions is a free service for members.


Mountains to The Sea Midwifery Conference Saturday 23 June 2018 Level 8, Wollongong Hospital Auditorium Cost $90 or Johanna.goldstein or Leanne.cummins, all at Health webmail

The Wellness Show 25–26 June 2018 International Convention Centre Sydney

St George Hospital Renal Supportive Care Symposium Comprehensive Conservative Care for patients with Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease 5–6 July 2018

Spring with the Kids Paediatric Perioperative Seminar 2018 15 September 2018 Rydges Parramatta, Rosehill NSW

Pain. A Balancing Act. Pain Interest Group Nursing Issues 21 September 2018 Sydney NSW Masonic Centre

Transplant Nurses’ Association National Conference 24–26 October 2018 Rydges World Square, Sydney

Palliative Care NSW 2018 Biennial State Conference – Riding the Waves of Change 8–10 November 2018 The Pavilion, Kiama NSW

Critical Care Nursing Conference 9 November 2018 Westmead Hospital

Please send event details in the format used here: event name, date and location, contact details – by the 5th of each preceding month. Send your event details to: Fax 02 9662 1414 Post 50 O’Dea Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017. All listings are edited for the purposes of style and space. Priority is given to non-profit professional events.


Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia Conference ‘It Starts with Us’ 26–27 July 2018 Building 16, Storey Hall, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) dana-2018-conference/

Australasian Neuroscience Nurses Association Conference 30–31 August 2018 Sheraton Grand Mirage, Gold Coast Leigh McCarthy

DECLARED 2018 – Delirium Clinical and Research Days 4th Biennial Conference 6–7 September 2018 Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre Melbourne, Victoria

CATSINaM Professional Development Conference 17–19 September 2018 Hilton, Adelaide catsinam-conference-2018 INTERNATIONAL

25 August 2018 St Vincent’s Hospital Lismore Monica Spinaze Email: Mobile: 0410443832

Milton Ulladulla Hospital Reunion 2018 14–16 September 2018 Milton Ulladulla Hospital Mollymook Beach Bowling Club NSW groups/187341808667284/events/ Contact: Robyn Bean

Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Reunion Lunch 3 October 2018 Parliament House, Macquarie Street. Jeanette Fox: 02 4751 4829

Port Kembla District Hospital Reunion 6 October 2018 The Sinclair Room, Dapto Leagues Club events/2043091062684227/ Jocelyn Rentoul 0438 695 076 Helen Smith 0410 763 800

WWBH PTS 1979 40–year Nursing Reunion

33rd Euro Nursing and Medicare Summit

Saturday 2 February 2019 Contact: Alison Meek (Giese) 0402612240 Sharyn Wellham (Noonan) 0432416419 Steph Taggart (Heenan) 0457414503

Euro Midwifery Congress 2018


8–10 October 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland

15–16 October 2018, Athens, Greece midwiferycongress.nursingconference. com/ EVENTS: REUNIONS

Mt Druitt Supportive and Palliative Care Unit’s 20th Birthday Friday 22 June 2018 6.30 for a 7.00 pm start Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club Phone: 9881 1695

Pambula Hospital Reunion Saturday 15 August 2018 Oaklands Barn, Pambula

46 | THE LAMP JULY 2018

SVH Annual Nurses’ Reunion

Recently changed your email? Classification changed? online. nswnma.

Log on Update details Go into the draw

WIN AN APPLE WATCH online. nswnma.

Log on and make sure all your details are up to date. You can easily update your address, workplace or credit card details as well as pay fees online, print a tax statement or request a reprint of your membership card – it’s simple! Everyone who uses our online portal from 1 July – 30 November 2018 to update their details will automatically be entered in the draw to win.

* The winner must be a financial member of the NSWNMA. If a redraw is required for an unclaimed prize it must be held up to 3 months from the original draw date. NSW Permit no: LTPM/18/02955.


“I want a super fund that acts in my best interests.” Sarah Tooke, Midwife

HESTA is an industry super fund. That means we’re run only to profit members, not shareholders. So you can trust that your future is in good hands.

Issued by H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA) ABN 64 971 749 321. This information is of a general nature. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or specific needs so you should look at your own financial position and requirements before making a decision. You may wish to consult an adviser when doing this. Before making a decision about HESTA products you should read the relevant product disclosure statement (call 1800 813 327 or visit for a copy), and consider any relevant risks (

48 | THE LAMP MARCH 2017

Lamp July 2018  

In this issue of the Lamp: Nurses caught between violence and management pressure; Ratios a boost for NUMs; Allity hard line boosts union st...

Lamp July 2018  

In this issue of the Lamp: Nurses caught between violence and management pressure; Ratios a boost for NUMs; Allity hard line boosts union st...