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lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

volume 65 no.11 December 2008 – January 2009

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Recognise the outstanding efforts of a remarkable nurse by nominating them in one of three categories:

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Winners announced at a gala dinner on Thursday 14 May 2009 at Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex For more information, to nominate and purchase tickets visit: HESTA Super Fund ABN 66 006 818 695 H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 64 971 749 321 | AFSL No 235249 .. Kim Watkins and Bjorn Again appear by arrangement with Saxton Management Group Pty Ltd


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Cover story

lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

volume 65 no.11 December 2008 – January 2009

Strong case for increased night rates 12 Cover A STRONG CASE FOR Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033


Karen Featon, RN, Campbelltown and Camden Hospital ED, and Grant Isedale, Emergency Department Nurse Manager Photograph by Sharon Hickey

Contacts NSW NURSES’ ASSOCIATION For all membership enquiries and assistance, including Lamp subscriptions and change of address, contact our Sydney office. SYDNEY OFFICE 43 Australia Street Camperdown NSW 2050 PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 (all correspondence) T 8595 1234 (metro) 1300 367 962 (non-metro) F 9550 3667 E W HUNTER OFFICE 120 Tudor Street Hamilton NSW 2303 ILLAWARRA OFFICE L1, 63 Market Street Wollongong NSW 2500 NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Noel Hester T 8595 2153 NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT Russell Burns T 8595 1219 For all Lamp editorial enquiries, letters and diary dates: Editorial Enquiries T 8595 1234 E M PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450

News in brief

A year in review

8 8 8 9

26 2008: Campaigning pays off for nurses

THE LAMP PRODUCED BY Lodestar Communications T 9698 4511

Christmas giveaways

PRESS RELEASES Send your press releases to: T 9550 3667 E

9 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11

Scholarships for nurse practitioners Stalled maternity leave angers women leaders 90,000 nurses to retire by 2020 Unions take govt to task over 457 visa exploitation Australian heads up international nursing education alliance Roadside birth for Blue Mountains woman Health sector jobs secure Australia: worst working hours in Western World Corrective Services recruits non-union labour Tax reform for a better society Whopping increase in whooping cough Global nurse shortage intensifies Mobile phone ad insult to nurses Guns drawn at hospital protest African nurses dying of AIDS

Agenda 16 Your rights at work restored 34 Health spared in tough mini-budget

Industrial issues 18 18 19 21

NSWNA wins $30,000 back pay Extra pay for after-hours managers Work bans win extra night staff at Mudgee Extra pay for DADHC EENs

Special people 36 Lucky members win Lotto

Lifestyle 38 Movie reviews 40 Book me

Regular columns 5 6 31 43 45 49

Editorial by Brett Holmes Your letters to The Lamp Ask Judith Nursing online Our nursing crossword Diary dates

Special offers 38 Win 100 double passes to see a preview of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 25 double passes to I’ve Loved You So Long and 4 DVD packs of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married


Aged care 22 Union membership pays off at Amaroo 23 Sticking together delivers union agreement at IRT 25 Sacked nurses reinstated at Daintree


32 Merry Christmas from the NSWNA $6,000 Christmas giveaway!


47 2009 NSWNA election of branch delegates and alternative delegates 47 NSWNA membership fees 2009



THE LAMP EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Brett Holmes, NSWNA General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Coral Levett, NSWNA President John Lyons, Baradine MPS Mark Kearin, Blacktown/ Mt Druitt Hospital Roz Norman, Tamworth Base Hospital Stephen Metcalfe, Lismore Base Hospital Peg Hibbert, Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care ADVERTISING Patricia Purcell T 8595 2139 or 0416 259 845 F 9550 3667 E RECORDS AND INFORMATION CENTRE – LIBRARY To find old articles in The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNA library’s nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, RIC Coordinator T 8595 2175 E THE LAMP ISSN: 0047-3936 General disclaimer The Lamp is the official magazine of the NSWNA. Views expressed in articles are contributors’ own and not necessarily those of the NSWNA. 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 NSWNA takes no responsibility for the advertising appearing herein and it does not necessarily endorse any products advertised. Privacy Privacy statement: The NSWNA 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 NSWNA office. If you are still not satisfied that your privacy is being maintained you can contact the Privacy Commission. Subscriptions Free to all Association and Professional members. Individuals $70, Institutions $106, Overseas $116.

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Our campaigns are paying off for nurses g Our achievements in all health sectors during 2008 show the value of being a member of the NSWNA.


nother year draws to a close at the NSWNA and it is a good time to reflect on what we have achieved over the past 12 months and to look ahead to the new challenges before us. 2008 saw a historic victory for the union movement with the Productivity Commission recommending a paid maternity leave scheme for the first time in our history. The financial crisis has raised doubts over its immediate implementation, but it is a victory to establish it as a right. If, or when, paid maternity leave is implemented, public hospital nurses would be entitled to 18 weeks at the federal minimum wage rate, in addition to the existing 14 weeks they now receive at full rates of pay. For many nurses in private hospitals and aged care, it will be a new entitlement. Unions will continue to pressure the Rudd Government to deliver what the Productivity Commission recognises is an important reform. The Federal Government has introduced new laws intended to start operating in mid-2009, that establish a fairer set of ground rules for the workplace. There are aspects of the old laws that remain and unions will continue to push for their removal. But the key fundamentals of the new laws are significantly better. Collective bargaining is preserved and protected. A safety net is intact. Workers have the right to be represented by their union. There is an independent umpire. This is a vindication of the position taken by the union movement in the latter years of the Howard Government and a reward for the army of workers including many nurses who stood up for their rights during the Your Rights At Work campaign.

In our largest sectors it has been a busy year as we build on our past successes. In the public health system, our campaign for better pay and conditions delivered tangible results. Earlier this year public health system nurses won a 7.95%

In the public health sector alone, a 7.95% pay increase translates into an extra $500 million a year in nurses’ pockets. By any measurement, that is a good return on investment. pay increase over two years in our Fair Conditions Fair Pay Nurses Stay campaign. We have lodged our evidence in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for

improved night duty penalty rates. Early next year we will progress our case for more pay for experienced nurses. These increases are justly deserved and provide some incentive for nurses to remain in a public hospital system that is stretched to the limit. We are confident that with member involvement similar achievements in private hospitals can be made. We want agreements that deliver pay parity with the public system and reduce the time lag in implementing the pay increase with public hospitals. In the very difficult WorkChoices environment we managed to sign up a significant number of nursing homes to Union Collective Agreements that delivered demonstrably better outcomes for nurses. The ACS template is likely to be renewed soon. So, there are a lot of good results coming after a lot of hard work by nurses and midwives throughout NSW. But we do not rest on our laurels. We will need to continue in the same vein in the new federal IR environment where bargaining will remain at the workplace level. There will not be any return to industry-wide bargaining. We need to maintain our focus on campaigning. Three years ago we anticipated that we would need the capacity and the resources to be effective as an organising and campaigning union when our Annual Conference authorised the creation of the NursePower fund. That has proven to be a far-sighted decision that has paid dividends. In the public health system alone, a 7.95% pay increase translates into an extra $500 million a year in nurses’ pockets. By any measurement, that is a good return on investment. The festive season is here again, a moment to savour and to relax with family and friends. You deserve it. Merry Christmas to all!n THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 5



Sharon Ketelaar

Love The Lamp I love The Lamp and wanted to let you know I think it has a good cross-section of news, legal stuff, items of interest to nurses, education info and competitions. I enjoy the crossword and movie reviews that offset the ‘union battle’ stories and I particularly like the personal/career stories like ‘Behind prison walls’ in the October issue, or September’s netball story, ‘Joanne sets her goals’. As I’m history-mad, I would love to see some snippets of ‘nursing in the past’ because it reminds us just how far we have come. If I could be constructively critical, the retirement stories or obituaries usually focus on people’s nursing careers (maybe because of space constrictions) but I’d love to hear more about them as whole people (their hobbies or other life achievements/milestones), as I think well-rounded people make great nurses and having a life outside of nursing helps keep people in the profession. The Lamp is so important in keeping all members in touch, as many nurses don’t work in large hospitals with wellestablished union branches. Even for those who do, we would miss so much news and info without The Lamp. I am at times uncomfortable with how our union funds are spent but want to say I am totally happy with my contributions being used for the production of The Lamp. Well done! Sharon Ketelaar, RN St George Hospital

Union fixes delayed CNS payments In March 2008 two colleagues and I were successful in our CNS applications. By August, the re-grading had not resulted in a change of status or payment. Calls to human resources and payroll did not reveal the source of the delay. In fact, the applications seemed to have become lost in the system and nobody was able to account for them. Meanwhile, we were still carrying out the duties for which we had been awarded CNS status. 6 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

A call to the NSW Nurses’ Association resolved this. Amanda Walsh was tenacious in pursuing our claim and fairly quickly we were told that the matter had been rectified and our status adjusted. My pay slip last week finally recognised this. I am still awaiting back pay but I’m confident, with the Association’s support, it will come. My experience has brought one lapsed member back into the fold. Mr Howard’s IR laws may be going the way of the dodo, but this serves as a reminder to all nurses that membership of the Association is as important as ever to preserve our status and entitlements. David Hughes, CNS SESIAHS.

Alana Tonkin

Benefits of school nurses It was heartening to read the article ‘ANF wants nurses back in school’ in the October 2008 issue of The Lamp. The decline of the school health nurse services across NSW has indeed left a widening gap in early identification, referral and health support services for school age children and young people. In northern NCAHS, the school health nurse program has embraced change and is a comprehensive program that reflects current health concerns. It includes Asthma Friendly schools, Anaphylaxis Education for schools, immunisation programs, Before School Assessments prioritising disadvantaged groups (hearing, speech and incorporating the new Steps vision program). Childhood obesity programs and primary and high school resilience and health intervention programs also included in some areas. The nurses undergo ongoing professional development and the program is relevant, challenging and satisfying. I fully support the ANF’s call for School Health Nursing not only in NSW primary schools but also in high schools as exists in Queensland and Victoria. Alana Tonkin, CNC Child, Family & Adolescent Health, Lismore

LETTER of the month Russell Mills

Recognition of nurses as professionals Sometimes it is just astounding that some organisations still do not acknowledge the professional status of nurses, despite years now of University-level education for the largest part of the nursing workforce. I’m sure, like me, many colleagues contribute their views on products and services through the AC Nielson ‘Your Voice’ survey program. Employment demographic data collection by AC Nielson at the end of their surveys categorises nurses as ‘blue collar and trades’ rather than ‘professional, degree qualified’. Now some of my best friends are tradies and I have been an EEN, but I think its a bit rough not to recognise the modern role of nurses as professionals in the community. I’ve raised this with AC Nielson, and received little more than a polite brush off. Is it time for me and other colleagues to give these ‘Your Voice’ surveys the flick in protest? Russell Mills, RN St Vincent’s Private Hospital Russell Mills won the prize for this month’s letter of the month, a $50 David Jones voucher.

LETTER of the month The letter judged the best each month will be awarded a $50 DJ’s voucher, courtesy Medicraft, Australia’s largest manufacturer of hospital beds and furniture. For more information on Medicraft products, visit or call 9569 0255.



FEDERATION NSW BRANCH In election E2008/205, conducted in September 2008 by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), the following were elected: ANF NSW Branch Secretary: Brett Holmes

Celebrating St George Hospital’s centenary: (from left) Joan Wagstaff, Dorothy Coker, Eileen Wilkinson and Sheila Carter

Celebrating 100 years at St George Hospital A very happy occasion was held at St George Leagues Club on Saturday, 18 October, to celebrate 100 years of nursing at St George Hospital, Kogarah. Nearly 200 people attended after 300 notices were mailed. Information was passed on verbally and also posted in The Daily Telegraph and The Lamp. A two-course lunch was served, memorabilia displayed, and many stories were told. The AGM was held and a committee formed for another year. Special guest was Eileen Wilkinson (nee Nugent) who will be 100 years old in March 2009. Eileen, who trained from 1927 to 1931, cut the celebratory cake, accompanied by her daughter Elizabeth Morris, who trained 1965-1969. Also present was Judith Cornell, 1957-1961, who helps with the archives at NSW College of Nursing; Dorothy Coker 1954, who has volunteered on the committee for 40 years; and Mary Billing (née Telford) 1954, who travelled from Reno, Nevada, USA.

Others travelled from New Zealand and across Australia and country NSW. Barbara Walters, RN

Every letter published receives a 10-week 7-day trial subscription to the Herald! Subscribe to the Herald today to save 37% off the news stand price and enjoy the convenience of the paper delivered to your home each morning. Visit www.subscribe. for more details.

Got something to say? Send your letters to: Editorial Enquiries email fax 9550 3667 mail PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450. Please include a photograph along with your name, address, phone and membership number. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

ANF NSW Branch Assistant Secretary: Judith Kiejda ANF NSW Branch President: Coral Levett ANF NSW Branch Vice President: Mark Kearin ANF NSW Branch Executive Members: Lyn Hopper, Lucille McKenna, Roz Norman and Lorna Scott ANF NSW Branch Councillors: Gary Clark, Ann Conning, Lynette Dine, Brett Dowd, Tania Gleeson, Wendy Goodman, Peg Hibbert, Dianne McKillop, Rebecca Nairne, Richard Noort, Angela Pridham, Kerry Rodgers, O’Bray Smith, Tom Van Dam and Sue White. Under the provisions of the Workplace Relations (RAO) Regulations the AEC is required to produce an election report. That report is available to members upon request to: Brett Holmes, Branch Secretary, Australian Nursing Federation NSW Branch, 43 Australia Street, Camperdown NSW. Note: Members did not receive ballot papers as the elections for the above positions were not contested.

AUSTRALIAN NURSING FEDERATION ELECTION NOTICE Workplace Relations Act 1996 Nominations are called for the following offices: Federal President Federal Vice President Written nominations which comply with the Rules of the Federation, must reach me not later than 12 noon on Monday, 22 December 2008. Nomination forms are available, on request from me, or the Branch Office of the Federation.

STATEMENTS: In accordance with Federal Rule 47.4, candidates may submit a 200 word

(maximum) typewritten statement and a photograph of themselves, in support of their candidature. The statement will be reproduced in a form suitable for posting to voters with ballot material. Statements must reach me not later than 12 noon on Wednesday, 24 December 2008.

ADDRESS FOR LODGING NOMINATIONS By Post: Australian Electoral Commission, GPO Box 4382, MELBOURNE VIC 3001 By Hand: Level 8, 2 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000 By Fax: (03) 9285 7149

BALLOT: The ballot, if required, will open on 27 January 2009 and close at 9am on Friday, 13 February 2009.

CHANGED ADDRESS? Advise the Federation now. NOTE: A copy of the AEC’s election report can be obtained from the organisation or from me after the completion of the election. Shane T Lanning Returning Officer

1 December 2008 Tel: (03) 9285 7145

Australian Electoral Commission





SCHOLARSHIPS Stalled maternity


PRACTITIONERS he Australian Government has announced funding of $2.1 million over four years for 80 two-year nurse practitioner scholarships valued at up to $30,000 each. The scholarships will be targeted specifically at nurses in rural and remote areas, who want to upgrade their skills to practice as nurse practitioners.


Nurse practitioners [are] ‘the great unrecognised success of Australia’s health care system’. In a statement, the Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Rudd Government considered Australia’s highly skilled nurse practitioners as ‘the great unrecognised success of Australia’s health care system’. ‘The development of this workforce in Australia has been slow – however, there are now approximately 300 registered nurse practitioners working in Australia [and the] Rudd Government is determined to see those numbers increase,’ she said. ‘The scholarships ... will have a particular emphasis on increasing the availability of nurse practitioners in rural and remote settings, and in areas of need such as aged care, mental health, women’s and men’s health, and drug and alcohol health care. ‘It is important to ensure that nurse practitioners get the support needed to expand their numbers and play more of a role in our health system.’ 8 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

leave angers women leaders

The Federal Government has suggested it may shelve implementing the paid maternity leave scheme proposed by the Productivity Commission – prompting an angry response ANF Secretary from prominent Ged Kearney women leaders. ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney, ACTU President Sharan Burrow and Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick appealed to the Government to proceed with the scheme, describing it as a vital investment in our future that would encourage more women into the workforce. ‘Of all the things you are cutting back on do not cut back on paid maternity leave – it’s an investment for our families, for the economy [and] the future,’ Ms Kearney said. The Productivity Commission’s study recommended the Government grant women 18 weeks paid leave, set at the minimum wage, at a cost of about half a billion dollars a year. Ms Kearney said women in Australia had waited far too long already for a maternity leave scheme that recognised the crucial contribution they make and it should not be compromised by cyclical changes in the world economy. ‘On behalf of working women around Australia I would urge the Government not to sacrifice a scheme that will finally bring us into the 21st century and will produce long-term economic and productivity gains for Australia,’ she said. ‘We are among only two nations in the OECD that fail to provide a paid maternity leave scheme. The cost to the community by failing to provide women with some modest support following the birth of a child is much higher in both social and economic terms,’ she said. ‘Women make up over 90% of the nursing workforce which is experiencing a workforce shortage. It has been demonstrated that good maternity leave schemes actually encourage women to return to work after they have taken a reasonable amount of time off to care for their newborns.’

90,000 nurses to retire by 2020 The ANF has intensified its calls for more training places and better working conditions for nurses following a new report that estimates up to 90,000 nurses will retire during the next 12 years. The joint report by the Australian Health Workforce Institute (AHWI) and workforce management company, Kronos, predicted the 7% increase in recruitment between 2001 and 2005 was nowhere near enough to cover the predicted shortfall. According to the report, the loss of nurses will be exacerbated by the rapid ageing of the workforce, with the proportion of nurses aged 55 and over almost doubling between 1999 and 2005. ANF national secretary Ged Kearney said nurses are being driven out of the workforce by excessive workloads, inadequate staffing and a failure to properly remunerate and value the pivotal role they play in the delivery of quality healthcare. ‘The report is welcome because it continues to highlight the issues we have been raising for many years – that the nursing shortage is acute, that nurses are leaving the health system because of the conditions they face, and there has been a lack of coordinated action over a long period to address national nursing workforce planning,’ she said. Sharon Lowry from Kronos’s healthcare division told the ABC that immigration had played a major part in plugging the gaps till now but this was a short-term solution that took nurses from other places in the world experiencing similar shortages. ‘All we’ve been doing is bandaiding our own problems while contributing to a worldwide issue,’ she said. Ged Kearney said the time for talk was over. ‘What we need now is action from all governments to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforce is better supported so nurses continue to enter the profession and stay there. Nurses and midwives are central to the health and wellbeing of the entire community – sorting out the nursing workforce problem must be a national priority.’

Photo courtesy of UTS/ Hoc Ngo.

UNIONS TAKE GOVT TO TASK OVER 457 VISA EXPLOITATION ith almost double the workplace-mortality rate of the general Australian workforce, temporary migrant workers on 457 visas continue to be exploited by unscrupulous employers, according to union leaders. Last month, officials from the Australian Nursing Federation, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, along with five 457 visa workers, met with Minister for Immigration Chris Evans to urge a raft of changes as part of the Federal Government’s review of the guest worker scheme.


Many 457 workers feel unable to speak up about their situation for fear of deportation or sacking. Nurse Miriam Nhliziyo, Boilermaker Mark Zhou, pump technician Rico Mavotas, building worker Mohammed Nayeem and crane operator Rajan Kandasamy have experienced varying degrees of exploitation under the 457 scheme including consistent underpayment, being forced to work while ill, employer threats of personal injury and immediate dismissal for refusing to sign an agreement. ‘Unfortunately these stories are just the tip of the iceberg, as many 457 workers feel unable to speak up about their situation for fear of deportation or sacking,’ said Federal Secretary of the ANF Ged Kearney. ‘Their reliance on a single employer makes it very hard for 457 visa workers to exercise the same rights as permanent resident workers. ‘We look forward to the public release of the recent Deegan Inquiry into the 457 scheme, which each of our unions have submitted to,’ said Ms Kearney.

Professor John Daly

Australian heads up international nursing education alliance Australia’s position as a world leader in nursing education has been confirmed with the appointment of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia & New Zealand) Chair, Professor John Daly, as the new Chair of the Global Alliance for Nursing Education and Scholarship (GANES). GANES is the only international body that provides strategic-level expertise in the education and professional development of nurses worldwide. At the inaugural GANES Conference held recently in Toronto, the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia & New Zealand) took on the leadership role for the next two years, during which time Professor Daly will serve as Chair. Professor Daly is Dean of Nursing, Midwifery & Health at the University of Technology, Sydney. He said there was a clear endorsement for a global nursing education organisation that could advocate and influence policy to build a sustainable nursing workforce.

Roadside birth for Blue Mountains woman Fears that the closure of birthing services at the Blue Mountains Hospital would lead to roadside births have eventuated. A 35-year-old woman, pregnant with her third baby, gave birth in an ambulance on the Great Western Highway at Glenbrook in October – about half an hour after being examined by a midwife and obstetrician in the Blue Mountains. In a statement, Maya Drum, network

director of women’s health and newborn care at Blue Mountains Hospital, said the woman arrived at Blue Mountains Hospital and was judged to be ‘high risk’ and that the hospital ‘could not provide anaesthetist cover due to unavoidable staffing shortages and the clinical decision was made to transfer the woman immediately by ambulance to Nepean Hospital’. According to newspaper reports, paramedics had argued against taking her to Nepean because her labour was so advanced. The baby, delivered by a midwife in the back of the ambulance, needed to be ventilated until they reached Nepean Hospital. An ambulance spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald that when the woman, who was ten days overdue, was picked up from her Katoomba home at 5.41am on 9 October, her waters had broken and contractions were a minute apart. In July this year, expectant mothers in the Blue Mountains were given just a few days’ notice that the birthing unit was closing due to a lack of staff. Following promises from the State Government, it was reopened in September but had since closed again twice because of staff shortages.

Health sector jobs secure Nurses can take heart following a recent survey by Channel Nine’s finance editor, Ross Greenwood, listing health sector jobs as the most secure in the unfolding economic downturn, followed closely by construction and telecommunications. Greenwood said the Federal Government’s mid-year economic review predicted a rise in unemployment of about 1.5% over the next 18 months, which equates to the loss of approximately 150,000 jobs. The sectors likely to be worst hit are banking and finance followed by the service and mining industries. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 9




WORST WORKING HOURS IN WESTERN WORLD Sydney University study shows that two million Australians are working more than 50 hours a week and one in three are without adequate workplace protection. The study followed the working lives of 8,000 workers over five years and found that 56% were struggling to get by or just coping – up from 51%. All interviews were conducted before the recent world financial crisis. Lead researcher, Dr Brigid van Wanrooy, told the ABC that long hours remain a ‘stubborn feature of Australian working life’, and look like continuing amid the economic slowdown. ‘Full-time employees are working an average of 44 hours per week – [by] international standards we’ve got some of the longest full-time working hours among the OECD countries,’ she said. The study’s first report, released just prior to the election last year, famously found that lowskilled workers on AWAs earned significantly less than those on Union Collective Agreements. The results were savaged by the Howard Government, who accused the academics, including the head of the University’s Workplace Research Centre Dr John Buchanan, of bias. ‘Everyone looks on last year as a fairly exceptional time and I think we’re all looking forward to more constructive ways of debating these issues in the future,’ Dr Buchanan told the ABC. Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard welcomed the study, saying Labor’s new Forward with Fairness legislation would allow Australia to become more competitive and prosperous without taking away rights and guaranteed minimum standards.



Corrective Services recruits non-union labour The Department of Corrective Services is under fire from the prison officers’ union for secretly recruiting non-union prison guards.

the Consumers’ Federation of Australia to ensure that the Henry Review takes full account of community, union and consumer views in its recommendations. Chaired by Professor Julian Disney, the forum believes the future tax system should promote economic and social development that will benefit all Australians on an efficient, equitable and sustainable basis. According to the forum, it is also essential that our tax system generates enough revenue for the delivery of high quality essential services and benefits for the Australian public.

The PSA has labelled the department’s actions a union-busting exercise, which will lead to further industrial action. ‘The ultimate goal of tax reform should be not According to the Sydney Morning Herald, just to benefit business a security company, Atmaac International, has won a two-year contract with the and the economy, but to department to recruit and supply about 18 guards to five NSW prisons. promote a better society.’ The company has placed newspaper advertisements for armed guards to start immediately on salary packages of up to $75,000 a year. According to the Public Service Association (PSA), the new guards would earn higher salaries than existing unionised officers and would end up costing the government even more after Atmaac International added its fee. The PSA has labelled the department’s actions a union-busting exercise, which will lead to further industrial action. ‘We would have to question the motives as to why it is happening if there are no savings by the department,’ the PSA’s Matt Bindley told the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘They have admitted to us this will cost more.’

Tax reform for a better society Australia’s future tax system must promote economic and social development and create a fairer society, according to the newly formed National Community ACTU Secretary Tax Forum. Jeff Lawrence The Community Tax Forum was established by the ACTU, Australian Council of Social Service and

ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said the Henry Review would help position Australia to deal with demographic, social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century, but unions had concerns that representation on the review panel was too narrow. ‘The ultimate goal of tax reform should be not just to benefit business and the economy, but to promote a better society,’ Mr Lawrence said. ‘At its heart it must be fair and equitable, not just in redistributing wealth, but in the provision of services a modern, developed society is entitled to.’

Whopping increase in whooping cough A dramatic increase in whooping cough in Sydney’s west this year has been blamed on the decline in immunisations in recent years. According to the Sydney West Area Health Service there have been almost 3,000 cases reported so far this year – more than double the number for the same period last year. Meanwhile, 43 south coast residents were diagnosed with whooping cough in October. Most of the cases were school children, while five patients were aged in their late 30s or early 40s.



SHORTAGE INTENSIFIES deal between Bahrain and the Philippines to combat a critical nurse shortage on the Arabian peninsular could see expatriate nurses’ salaries triple, Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reports. Bahrain’s Health Ministry Under-Secretary, Dr Aziz Hamza, pledged to dramatically increase wages during a meeting with visiting Philippine Labour Secretary, Mariantio Roque, in October. Philippine Embassy Labour Attaché, Alejandros Santos, told the Gulf Daily News last month that the Bahrain Health Ministry had proposed a new salary package for doctors and nurses looking to work in Bahrain.


‘Graduates ... would rather work here than in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.’ ‘We have asked the Health Ministry if they will bring more nurses because we have a lot of professionals, especially graduates, who would rather work here than in the US, UK, Canada and Australia,’ said Mr Santos. Meanwhile, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) threatened industrial action last month unless the Maltese government took serious action to address its acute shortage of nurses. Union President Paul Pace told the Times of Malta there were currently 187 nursing vacancies at the 825-bed Mater Dei Hospital alone, and some nurses were working between 60 and 80 hours per week. Mr Pace said measures agreed to between the union and the government a year ago, to encourage former nurses back to work, had still not been implemented.

Mobile phone ad insult to nurses In what was considered a double win for nurses’ and women’s rights in India, a Virgin mobile phone advertisement seen as insulting to the nursing profession was taken off the air last month. According to The Hindustan Times, the ad showed two young men in adjoining hospital rooms playing a prank on a nurse by asking her to fetch a ringing phone from their trouser pockets. The newspaper reported that television stations pulled the ad after the Indian Government threatened to take action. The Indian National Commission for Women (NCW) described the ad as obscene and said it objectified nurses. ‘There were also sexual overtones which cannot be allowed on public television,’ an NCW official told the media. Following complaints from various women’s organisations, the Indian Government’s broadcast regularity body found that the ad violated advertising codes and issued notices to Star Movies and the Discovery Channel.

Guns drawn at South African hospital protest A protest by striking hospital staff against corruption at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in South Africa turned ugly in October after armed security guards allegedly threatened protesters. A witness told South Africa’s Independent Online that the demonstration got out of hand when protesters objected to the barring of journalists from the rally and a security guard produced a gun. A branch secretary of the Democratic Nurses’ Union, Patience Phirwa, was allegedly punched in the face by a security guard following the fracas. The protest began as a peaceful demonstration organised by the South

African Democratic Nurses’ Union, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA, the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union, and the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA, against endemic corruption and poor management at the hospital. Charlotte Ndamase from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union told South Africa’s The Times that workers demanded investigations into false employment practices and the theft of A$1million worth of hospital equipment,’ According to The Times, security reinforcements were overpowered by the protesters and ‘sped off in their vehicles’.

African nurses dying of AIDS Four nurses in government health facilities are dying each month of HIV and AIDSrelated illnesses in Malawi – a small African nation between Zambia and Mozambique. The President of the National Association of Nurses of Malawi (NANM), Isabella Akunjawa Musisi, told international media during an annual review meeting of the National AIDS Commission in Lilongwe in October that the pandemic was robbing the country of the already too few nurses still practising. Based on reports from NANM membership, Musisi said at least four nurses were dying every month. ‘In Malawi, currently there are 7,000 nurses against a multitude of about 12 million people – a situation that puts our nurses in an awkward situation because the recommended nurse to patient ratio is one to six,’ she said. She said Malawi was currently producing about 500 nurses and midwives per year but it would need at least 2,000 to cope with the current crisis. Malawi’s Principal Secretary for Health, Chris Kang’ombe, said the lack of education and resources to deal with the pandemic had brought ‘added stigma and discrimination’ to health care workers at all levels. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 11



Strong case for increased night rates g The NSWNA has lodged its claim for increased night shift penalty rates with the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.


he right to argue for an increase in night shift penalty rates was part of the settlement in the public health system pay campaign. A key component of the NSWNA case will be academic research that outlines the deleterious health effects of shift work, based on extensive studies conducted on nurses and other shift workers both overseas and in Australia. When the existing rates were set by the Commission in 1972 no weight was given to the health impacts of shift work as they were ‘too indefinite to carry much weight in assessing compensation’, according to the Commission at the time. Since 1972, there has been a significant increase in the understanding of the health and social effects of shift work. ‘We think there is a very strong case for an increase in the night penalty rates in light of the more comprehensive



NSW 15% South Australia 19.5% Queensland 20% Victoria 20-26% Northern Territory 22.5% ACT 22.5% Tasmania 25% Western Australia 35%


‘The penalty rates for night shift in NSW are the lowest for public sector nurses in Australia with the rates in other states as high as 35% in Western Australia and is a contributing factor to the nurse shortage in NSW. ’ NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes

understanding of the effects of shift work that are now known,’ said NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes. ‘Empirical studies conducted since 1972 have shown that shift workers have increased risks of serious health problems including breast cancer, cardio-vascular disease, gastro-intestinal disorders and reproductive health problems.’ Research also shows a range of social disadvantages arising from the working of night shifts or rotating shifts. These include family disruption, social dislocation and isolation, and elevated levels of marital breakdown. The academic research in the NSWNA claim is backed up by NSW nurses’ personal experiences of poor sleep, health and mood problems and significant social and family disruption. Nurse Unit Managers reported a reluctance by nurses to work night shift and frequent difficulties in rostering in these circumstances. Grant Isedale, an Emergency Department Nurse Manager, said night shift is always a challenge when setting the rosters.

‘I can often fill a roster vacancy on mornings or afternoon shifts with permanent part-time staff. These nurses will seldom agree to do an additional shift on a night shift unless it is an overtime shift with overtime penalty payment,’ he said. ‘One of the main factors that influences nurses to change from permanent employment is a desire to get away from working on a rotating roster system, particularly night shifts.’ Brett Holmes said the penalty rates for night shift in NSW are the lowest for public sector nurses in Australia, with rates in other states as high as 35%, and this is a contributing factor to the nurse shortage in NSW. ‘Mandatory shift work is a factor that causes many nurses and midwives to leave the public health system,’ he said. ‘The ageing of the nursing workforce adds to the problem. Many nurses report that as they get older they find it harder to cope with the onerous physical demands of night shifts and the disrupted sleep patterns.n

The dark side of night shift


hen the NSW Industrial Relations Commission last looked at shift penalty rates in 1972 scientific research into the health impacts of shift work was embryonic and the health effects were believed to be minor. Thirty-six years later there has been an explosion in the amount of sleep and circadian research. The completion of the mapping of the human genome in 2006 further enabled the understanding of the genes that regulate human circadian rhythms (biological clocks). The evidence submitted in the NSWNA case to the NSW IRC by Professor Ron Grunstein from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, shows the poor health effects of night shift. ‘There’s compelling evidence that a range of poor health indicators are found in individuals exposed to rotating shift

work involving night work,’ reported Professor Grunstein. ‘A strong body of research has demonstrated that the longer an individual performs shift work, especially shift work that comprises a night duty rotation, the greater the risk of serious illness for that shift worker.’

Professor Grunstein said the evidence is so compelling that in November 2007 the working group of the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer ranked ‘shiftwork that involves circadian disruption’ on the second highest of five tiers used to grade

‘The risks are serious, not transitory or minor, with evidence of increase with repeated exposure.’ Some of the evidence comes from very large research projects on nurses in the United States including one that investigated the health risk factors of 121,700 female, married nurses, aged 30 to 55 years over a period of 30 years. The studies show that shift workers have increased risks of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastro-intestinal disorders and reproductive health problems.

exposure and carcinogenicity to humans’. He also said there is ample and consistent evidence to conclude that night or rotating shiftwork poses a serious health risk for the worker. This evidence did not exist when the night penalty rates were last reviewed in 1972. ‘The risks are serious, not transitory or minor, with evidence of increase with repeated exposure,’ he said.n

Your personal wellbeing also suffers


t is not just your physical health that is put at risk with shift work. Shift work also affects your psychological wellbeing. There is ample evidencebased research that proves shift work has negative effects on psychological health and is disruptive to social life and domestic arrangements.




can lead to increased disruption to marital relationships and increased probability of separation and divorce; allows less time for participation in social and leisure activities with family and friends including reduced contact time with children; can have a negative impact on

‘For a couple of days after night shift while I recovered, I would not clean, I would not cook, and there were no visitors. I would never go out.’ In a report commissioned by the NSWNA, researchers from Monash University explored the social and domestic effects on workers of shift work. They found shift work: c produces negative psychological symptoms and a higher level of sickness-related absenteeism for work;

children with reports of higher probability of emotional or behavioural difficulties. These findings resonate with Donna Garland, a Midwifery Unit Manager at Bankstown Hospital. ‘Staff have reported to me that shiftwork has negative effects on

their personal lives. In my time as the Midwifery Unit Manager, staff members have told me they believed shift work was one of the factors negatively affecting their marriage,’ she said. Dianne McCarthy, NUM, Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital, agrees night shift puts serious strains on family life. ‘For a couple of days after night shift while I recovered, I would not clean, I would not cook, and there were no visitors. I would never go out when I was working night shift,’ she said. ‘When my kids were teenagers they would miss out on activities with friends because I could not go and pick them up. Saturday sports were difficult – it was dangerous for me to drive them after a night shift. The same with kids’ school functions. I would have to try and stay awake or leave early. On occasions the kids were left waiting for me when I slept through the alarm.’n THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 13



Night shift is hard on nurses It’s unhealthy, even unsafe ‘Night shift throws everything into chaos: irregular meal times, sugar cravings at 4am in the morning; coffee to stay awake at 4am which interferes with sleep when I get home. There are lots of lollies and chocolates available on night shift – we tend to nibble throughout the night shift rather than have a sit down meal. There is no healthy, wholesome food available for nurses working on the night shift, only the lollies and chips in the vending machines. ‘I regularly get sudden waves of nausea and vomiting at the end of a night shift. ‘I am concerned about nodding off when I am driving home after work. On one occasion when I had a 30minute drive home I had a micro-sleep and drifted across the road until the lane divider woke me up. At least two other nurses have told me recently that they have also experienced micro-sleeps while driving home after night shift.’ Karen Featon, RN, ED, Campbelltown Hospital and Camden Hospital 14 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

Fatigue puts patient safety at risk ‘My experience as a Nurse Manager is that, with very few exceptions, nurses generally don’t like working night shifts but see it as a necessary evil of the job. It is generally difficult to get nurses to work night shift, especially to cover unplanned absences. ‘There have been staff who have requested periods off night shift when they have been experiencing problems in their family relationships and felt that only being rostered to work day or evening shifts would relieve some of the pressure on the relationship. I have always tried to accommodate these individual needs. However, it is not always possible because the roster needs to maintain a proper skill mix. ‘Staff have also discussed with me their concerns about their safety at work on night shift, particularly during consecutive shifts. They are worried about making mistakes because of fatigue and find the night shifts are more stressful than other shifts. ‘Night shifts can place extra stress on family relationships both because nurses on night shift are not available to participate in activities and because when they are available they tend to be overtired and irritable.’ Grant Isedale, Emergency Department Nurse Manager

It’s impossible to manage ‘I worked a rotating roster until 2002. In my experience there is a real survival mode when one is working night shift and a real mental anguish coping with night shift and then knowing you have to get up and do it all over again. It was a vicious cycle that I found impossible to manage properly, even after 20 years. ‘Nurses working in my unit complain of tiredness on a regular basis. They have difficulty sleeping during the day and there is a cumulative effect on their level of tiredness. Staff report mood swings due to tiredness. There is a tendency for staff to put on weight during the night shift due to irregular and changed eating patterns. ‘I need to be very fair, careful and at times apologetic when rostering staff on nights. I know how I felt about the night shift. If staff are feeling unwell or stressed due to night shift, after consulting with other staff, I attempt to give them a break from it for a couple of months. The only reason I am able to do this is because my staff are very supportive of each other.’ Dianne McCarthy, NUM, Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital

It’s too hard and people leave

I sleep OK but I have no energy ‘It is my experience as the NUM that sick leave among nurses is more frequent during or immediately after a period of night shifts. My observation is that during and after periods of night shifts nurses suffer higher rates of minor ailments such as colds. ‘I am lucky to be one of a small number of nurses who do not experience difficulties in sleeping when on night duty. Even though I was able to sleep for about seven hours I was still affected by working night shifts. When I woke up I had no energy or motivation for my usual physical activities such as walking, or for any social engagements. ‘I also experienced difficulties in maintaining awareness when driving home after night shift. I used to arrive home on several occasions and realise that I had no memory of the drive home. ‘I also suffered from minor infections such as cold sores more frequently when working night shift.’ Gail Hanger, Nurse Unit Manager, High Dependency Unit, Bowral Hospital

‘The skill mix on night shift is critical because of the lack of clinical support on that shift. Even though I currently have a full complement of midwives I still have difficulties obtaining midwives to cover unplanned absences and clusters of births during night shifts. ‘Staff are reluctant to fill in for a night shift vacancy as an ordinary additional shift so we need to pay overtime to attract them. Sometimes the shortage of relief staff means that permanent employees have to work extremely long hours. On a few occasions I have personally had to work a night shift after my regular day shift because of the unavailability of relief staff. ‘I have lost experienced midwives during my time as the Midwifery Unit Manager specifically because of the requirement to do night shift. One midwife found a Monday-Friday midwifery job, one left nursing altogether and another retired early on medical advice that she should not continue to work night shifts.’ Donna Garland, Midwifery Unit Manager, Bankstown Hospital THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 15



Your rights at work restored g Central to the Rudd Government’s new IR laws is the right for workers to collectively bargain and be represented by their union.


fter an exhaustive period of consultation, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has introduced the Federal Government’s Fair Work Bill to Parliament. While not everything we wanted, Unions believe it does much to restore rights at work for Australian workers. Key elements of the draft laws are the restoration of unfair dismissal laws, the right to collectively bargain, a strong safety net and an independent umpire. Unfair dismissal rights were a key part of the Your Rights At Work campaign and are being been restored. There will be a qualifying period of 12 months for those working in a company employing fewer than 15 employees and six months with a workplace employing more than 15 workers.

A strong safety net The new IR laws will be underpinned by a safety net comprised of 12 National Employment Standards and modern awards. Modern awards and minimum wages will be set by Fair Work Australia. Awards will be readjusted every four years ‘so they remain relevant to changing community standards’, according to Julia Gillard. The kind of test cases that were prosecuted by the union movement in the past, such as for maternity leave,


Protection from unfair dismissal is restored. There is a strong safety net. Agreements cannot undermine safety net. There is an independent umpire. There is a right to collective bargaining.

redundancy pay and superannuation, will still be possible. There are strong rights for workers to collectively bargain and be represented by their union. Agreements will be scrutinised by Fair Work Australia before they come into operation and they will not be able to undermine the National Employment Standards. This means entitlements such as overtime, penalty rates, public holidays, redundancy and annual leave will be protected. Right of entry to workplaces by unions has been improved.

An independent umpire These legal rights will be backed up by an independent umpire, which will have the ability to step in as a last resort and resolve disputes that prove intractable. Unions have been pushing for compulsory arbitration by the Government’s new body Fair Work Australia, which will take over the traditional functions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. This will now happen when there are serious breaches of ‘good faith bargaining’ in protracted disputes such as at Telstra and Cochlear. Unions believe this will prevent unscrupulous employers from snubbing their noses at the rights of employees to collectively bargain. Access to arbitration will also be available for low-paid workers who have little bargaining power.


c c


Bill entered Parliament 25 November 2008. Senate inquiry concludes by mid February 2009. Laws enacted mid March 2009 New unfair dismissal laws and bargaining rules commence 1 July 2009. Modern awards and Fair Work Australia commence January 2010. Australian Building and Construction Commission abolished 1 February 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard agreed to these claims after months of concerted union pressure. ‘This is a major step forward which will provide a strong deterrent against the infringement of workers’ rights and entitlements with employers facing court-imposed injunctions, penalties and a wide range of orders,’ said ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence. ‘These are big steps forward for Australian workers. They are a far cry from the aggressively unfair and antiunion WorkChoices.’

Plenty of consultation Julia Gillard, who oversaw the crafting of the draft new laws, said the Government put a high priority on consulting a wide range of parties through the Committee on Industrial Legislation (COIL). ‘The Howard Government gave COIL a few short hours to review the complex and lengthy WorkChoices bill and this was only after the legislation was presented to the Parliament,’ she said. ‘In our COIL process over 50 people met for two weeks in Canberra in October to work through the detail of the draft legislation. The legislation I will present to the Parliament this month will be all the better for the excellent advice and feedback I have had from this excellent group.’ Jeff Lawrence said there may be gaps in the legislation that unions will continue to address but workers have got the great bulk of what we campaigned for in the last Federal Election. ‘We want WorkChoices consigned to the rubbish bin of history, along with the failed neo-liberal policies of deregulation and the corporate excess they have engendered,’ he said.n

‘The Your Rights at Work campaign was a wonderful example of the power of a united voice.We woke people up and spurred the community to action. I say congratulations to everyone involved – vocal and non-vocal. It was unfortunate that the previous government didn’t listen to us.They went too far and completely underestimated our resolve to sustain a fair and reasonable workplace. ‘We’ve never been this political before and I think it was a bit of a shock to them. Unions had to spend a lot of money but it was an important investment in our future. It is frightening to think what might have happened. ‘Nurses are a caring profession and I think people thought “if nurses are saying this, something must be wrong”. I’m proud of what we achieved. I don’t see it as bringing down a government – we were just protecting our profession and raising awareness.’

Karen Fernance, NUM, Bankstown/ Lidcombe Hospital

Karen Fernance

‘This is a great moment for workers. WorkChoices was downright insulting to the ordinary working person. It was essential that we got collective bargaining and protection from unfair dismissal back on the table.We needed a system that was fair to both workers and employers – particularly small employers.

Dianne Lang, AiN, Imlay House Nursing Home

‘I didn’t know what I was getting into when I got involved in the Your Rights at Work campaign (I was a political virgin!) but it has been immensely worthwhile. It has vastly improved my confidence and negotiating skills and I’ve met some incredible people. I am very proud to have been involved in the campaign – I think it has made unions and communities stronger.’ Dianne Lang THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 17




NSWNA wins $30,000 back pay g RNs awarded $30,000 back pay for ‘in charge of shift’ duties.


he NSWNA has won around $30,000 back payment for public health system RNs and midwives performing ‘in charge of shift’ duties. RNs acting as ‘team leader’, or similar title, will now receive the ‘in charge of shift’ allowance when they are undertaking clinical management duties, even when the NUM is on duty

but not performing a day-to-day clinical management role. The NSWNA took the case to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and clarified that the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ State Award included provision for RNs to receive extra pay for shifts where they undertaking NUM duties, even when the NUM is on duty but not performing their clinical management role. One nurse, who cannot be named due to confidentially agreements written into the terms of settlement, said the dispute had been dragging on for years

Extra pay for after-hours managers g At last, fairness for acting after hours managers.


fter concerted pressure from the NSWNA, NSW Health has agreed to introduce a $50 per shift payment to nurses and midwives who relieve nurses in charge of a hospital with over 100 beds after hours. Although Branches endorsed the final settlement of our 2008 Wages and

Conditions Award that included the non-payment of higher grade duty unless five continuous days relief was performed, NSWNA continued to argue that this should not apply to nurses and midwives who perform short-term reliefs in charge of hospitals with over 100 beds. The new award provision regarding payment for higher duties would mean


3. In the case of a nurse or midwife relieving a part-time employee, the relieving nurse is entitled to the higher payment after completing 38 hours or five, full-time equivalent days.

1. If a nurse or midwife relieves a higher-grade, full-time employee whose roster is five days on duty, two days off, the higher payment is due after completing five days.

4. Once they have met the requirement of five days higher duty, nurses and midwives are not required to meet it a second time during the same period of relieving.

2. If the relieving nurse or midwife takes leave before the minimum period has been reached, the five days calculation starts from the day the nurse returns to work.

5. The new provision states that employers are not to rotate the higher grade duty amongst nurses to avoid the payment at the higher classification.


and had done nothing to engender good will between nurses and NSW Health. ‘At a time when health services are struggling to retain experienced nurses, I really don’t understand why they fought this,’ she said. ‘I’m glad we kept up the fight – the money was nice but really it was a matter of principle.’ NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said, ‘Senior nurses are vital to the functioning of the health system so it is crucial that they are paid in accordance with their levels of responsibility.’n

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH HIGHER GRADE DUTIES c NSWNA is still concerned about the effects of the new restrictions on paying higher grade duties to five continuous days c We would like to hear your views and experiences. c Please fill out the form on the NSWNA website to tell us about your experiences.

these nurses got nothing for being directed to do the in-charge of hospital duties. According to NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSW Health agreed after months of arguing to the payment of a $50 per shift payment for relieving in charge of a hospital with over 100 beds after hours. ‘The NSWNA pointed out that some nurses would actually be taking a pay cut if they were directed to do these duties.’ The Award will be varied in December to include the new allowance and will apply to all nurses whose substantive grading is up to and including CNS Grade 2.n

Relieved Mudgee Hospital nurses.

Work bans win extra night staff at Mudgee g Fed up nurses impose work bans, GWAHS finally delivers extra night duty staff.


t took the threat of work bans for the Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) to respond to nurses’ repeated pleas for extra night duty staff at Mudgee Hospital. Exasperated members voted to impose works bans last month after months of fruitless negotiations In an eleventh hour response, the GWAHS agreed to immediately provide extra clinical staff to address inadequate night shift staffing levels in the maternity and emergency departments. The back down by GWAHS represents a big win for nurses who have been

fighting for the extra staffing in the ED for years. With only one night duty nurse rostered on in the ED, and one midwife in the nearby maternity unit, nurses believed the hospital was grossly understaffed to handle night-time emergencies. Mudgee Hospital ED and Maternity NUM Stuart Clifford said nurses were very happy with the result, as there had been ‘too much undue pressure on night duty staff for too long’. ‘Really, it should never have got this far. With 240 to 275 births per year, and over 10,000 annual outpatient presentations to emergency and maternity, one night duty nurse in each unit is just not enough. Since emergency and maternity were moved to the ground floor in 1998, there has never been enough funding to staff the ED 24 hours a day,’ said Stuart. ‘When we come on morning shift, night duty staff are often stressed. Nurses

are regularly being called in for night duty emergencies. ‘GWAHS have supplied us with an initial two week roster with additional staff and are expected to implement a long-term solution after that.’ NSWNA Assistant Secretary Judith Kiejda said it was a great outcome for night duty nurses at Mudgee. ‘When a serious incident arises in the ED, the midwife has to leave the maternity unit to assist in the ED, leaving the maternity unit unattended, which is a totally unacceptable situation,’ she said. ‘It is also unacceptable, from a staff and patient safety perspective, to have only one nurse in the ED overnight. ‘Mudgee Hospital covers a big catchment area for births, so it must have midwives on every shift and a second nurse permanently rostered on the night shift in the ED,’ she said.n

Little hearts need you to care! As a professional in the nursing field you would see many little hearts in need of extra care and attention. If you have been thinking about fostering then we would encourage you to call us to find out how you can give a child this extra care and attention. Centacare provides training, support and financial assistance to carers. For more information please call Centacare on 8709 9333 or visit Centracare.indd 1

9:22:53 AM THE LAMP DECEMBER 200817/9/08 – JANUARY 2009 19




International Nurses’ Day 2009

Enter our Short Film Festival for a chance to

win $5,000! al rt Film Festivf $2,000! o h S A N W S prizes o 09, the N rses’ Day 20 of the two runner up u N l a n o ti a e Intern or on to tell, To celebrate chance to win $5,000 have a story d n a e v ti a a re u lented, c offers yo mbers are tar short film now. e m r u o w o you We kn gton. y and enter eatre, Kensin h T e d ra a so don’t dela P ’s A 13 May at NID Showing on

ION: MORE INFORMAT ite for full details bs we r ou t ou k ec Ch Nurses’ Short Film about the NSWNA itions and for nd co s, ize Festival, pr ort workshops that information on sh tips to help you will give you some m. Entry Forms fil ty ali qu a e produc d from : can be downloade .au sn www.nswnurses.a ENTRY DEADLINE: 12 March 2009 y No later than Frida Y TO: POST YOUR ENTR ting & rke Ma , ge Rid Lynne er, Recruitment Offic tion, cia NSW Nurses’ Asso DOWN, ER MP CA , 40 x Bo PO NSW 1450.

Your film can be up to 3 (including cred its) minutes in length and can cover anyt hing relating to nursing. All styles of films are accepted, inclu ding but not limited to documentaries, comedy, drama, animation, horror, musical, and anyth ing in between. There is no charge for you to enter however your film must: Be original. Have been produced with in the last 18 months. Have not been shown at any other festi val. Be no longer than 3 minutes. Have all the music contained in the film, copyright cleared. Be submitted in DVD form at. Be submitted with signed Deeds of Release for all those appearing in the film. It is our intention to run the Nurses’ Short Film Festival over the week of International Nurses’ Day (12 May) at the NIDA’s Parade Theatre on the 13th of May and then throughout the State where it will be tied in with NSW NA Regional Roadshow visits. This is a unique opportunity to tell your story that is in some way connected to nursing. Let’s have some fun with this, our first NSWNA Short Film Festival, it’s your choice whether you make peop le laugh or cry — or both!


Extra pay for DADHC EENs g DADHC finally recognises EENs’ extra skills and qualifications.


ENs working under the Nurses State Award in the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC) are set to receive up to 5.2% extra pay in recognition of their skill levels and qualifications. All DADHC EENs should have received their increase from October this year, backdated to 1 July 2007. NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said this is an excellent win that recognises the extra skills and effort EENs have put in to get these qualifications. DADHC had previously been struggling to recruit and retain EENs who had been expected to perform higher duties with no remuneration for the increased responsibility. Though the new rates of pay still lag slightly behind the public hospital award rate, it was widely welcomed by DADHC EENs. Lynne Lucas has been nursing with DADHC for 17 years and was one of the first ENs to attain her medication endorsement in 2006. ‘This recognition and pay rise was a long time coming but we’re very happy with the result,’ she told The Lamp. ‘I’ve been nursing since I was 18 (and I’m now pushing 52!) and I’ve got to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the professional challenge [of upskilling]

DADHC EENs Lynne Lucas and Kevin Burke from The Kanangra Centre at Morisset Hospital are ‘over the moon’ their skills have finally been recognised.

but it was extremely frustrating to not be acknowledged for so long. ‘We kept expecting [DADHC] to amend the award but they never did – that is until we lodged a claim through the Union. Prior to that I don’t think they intended to do anything about it!’ Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said it was not only a good

outcome for EENs, but also a good outcome for DADHC. ‘This is a great step forward for health care within DADHC facilities. For some time now EENs have been voting with their feet by leaving so this will definitely enhance the department’s ability to retain EENs and improve the skill mix,’ she said.n




Union membership pays off at Amaroo g Union Collective Agreement delivers 18% pay rise


elonging to the NSWNA has paid off for nurses working at Blue Care aged care facilities. With the support of the NSWNA, nurses at Amaroo Nursing Home and Kingscliff Gardens have just secured an 18% pay rise over three years. Staff at at the Blue Care facilities voted almost unanimously to accept the offer from their employer Blue Care last month. NSWNA delegate at Amaroo, Brian Bruce said, ‘Members are all very, very happy with the new agreement – the pay rise is fantastic but the improved workloads clause and increased longservice leave is probably more important. ‘We also secured nine week’s maternity leave for all nurses, with an extra three weeks for employees who have worked here longer than three years. ‘Management have told us they want to be an employer of choice and the new agreement goes a long way to achieving this,’ said Brian. ‘Being a nurse, I don’t really understand all the legal ins and outs. I mean most of us have trouble

understanding our payslips let alone the awards or how to bargain effectively. ‘This is exactly why we’re in a union. Our NSWNA organiser is so on the ball, she came and asked us what we wanted and set about helping us achieve that.’ Having recruited 20 members himself, Brian knows the key to successful bargaining is membership – and the key to a healthy membership is recruitment. ‘We have a really good quality of membership here – our numbers are usually above 70%. ‘With the high staff turnover in aged care you have to get around regularly to see new people and explain the benefits of joining the Union. ‘I don’t harass people – I can tell them the basics in 30 seconds, give them a form and let them decide. I usually follow up a couple of weeks later to see how they went. ‘Really, the benefits are obvious – just look at our new Union Collective Agreement. ‘Joining the Union is like taking out insurance – you wouldn’t think twice about insuring your house or your car or your health – what about your livelihood?’ said Brian.n

‘Joining the union is like taking out insurance – you wouldn’t think twice about insuring your house – what about your livelihood?’ Brian Bruce

NSW Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship Fund

2009 POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS NSW Health is offering the following nursing and midwifery postgraduate scholarships in 2009: Category 1. Midwifery Category 2. Mental Health Category 3. Clinical Studies Category 4. Education Category 5. Management These scholarships are available to full time or part time registered nurses or registered midwives employed and currently working in the NSW public health system. $1,000 per subject is available in 2009, up to a maximum of $8,000.* Applications close 28 February 2009. *further criteria applies.

For further information and application forms visit the Nursing and Midwifery Office website or contact the Project Officer Scholarships on 9391 9813


Sticking together delivers union agreement at IRT g Members tell boss they want a Union Collective Agreement; IRT agrees and drops non-union plan.


n April 2008, Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) approached staff announcing it would offer an Employee Collective Agreement that excluded union involvement. After concerned members contacted the NSWNA, Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda met with IRT management and persuaded them to conduct a survey of staff, genuinely asking whether they wanted a Union Collective Agreement (UCA) or the Employee Collective Agreement (ECA) being offered by IRT. NSWNA Officers also conducted workplace visits and ran a series of information sessions to ensure that members had a clear understanding of the differences between a Union Collective Agreement (UCA) and the Employee Collective Agreement (ECA) being offered by IRT management. ‘A Union Collective Agreement means that employees – supported by

their union – negotiate as a group with management; whereas an ECA excludes union involvement and prevents people working together to improve their wages and conditions,’ said Judith. Staff voted overwhelmingly in preference for a UCA:494 voted for a UCA, while only 131 nominated an ECA.

Judith said the agreement at IRT shows the value of being a union member and sticking together. ‘By standing together as members of a union, nurses have greater bargaining power, backed by expert advice and negotiation skills from NSWNA officials.

‘The highest paid aged care nurses in NSW are covered by Union Collective Agreements.’ Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda

With staff clearly united in their preference for a UCA, IRT agreed to a union agreement and commenced negotiations with nurses and their union, the NSWNA and HSU. IRT is a member of ACS (Aged and Community Services NSW) and the new agreement is based on the ACS template negotiated by ACS, the NSWNA and HSU. The new Agreement offers nurses a 4% pay rise per annum for three years and improved conditions such as nine weeks paid maternity leave.

‘Although employers aren’t forced to bargain by law, if you stick together and show your employer that the majority of nurses want a Union Collective Agreement they will be under pressure to negotiate with nurses as a group and the NSWNA. ‘The highest paid aged care nurses in NSW are covered by Union Collective Agreements. ‘Nurses at IRT feel like they have been respected and are more likely to stay with this employer,’ said Judith.n

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Sacked nurses reinstated at Daintree g NSWNA intervention prevents terminations at Daintree Aged Care


SWNA intervention has prevented the mass termination of nurses at Daintree Aged Care in Albion Park. The NSWNA took Daintree Aged Care to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) after all nurses at the facility received termination notices. As a direct result of NSWNA intervention, Daintree management have abandoned all planned employment changes at the aged care facility. In October, staff at the Albion Park aged care facility operated by Daintree

ACS Pty Ltd were all given one month’s notice of termination and told they had to reapply for their positions with a new employer – Daintree Management Pty Ltd. Company searches by the NSWNA revealed that the ‘new’ employer had the same directors, shareholders, registered office, principal place of business and company secretary as the ‘old’ employer. Staff members were also told that, if re-employed, it would be under different wages and conditions and they would lose their ‘continuity of service’, thus eliminating long service and sick leave accruals. Adding insult to injury, staff were

told they would have to work for 30 days before confirmation of permanent employment, and receive no annual leave for the ‘first’ 12 months. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter directly with management, NSWNA lodged complaints with the Department of Health and Ageing and the Workplace Ombudsman and filed a dispute in the AIRC. Following conciliation in the IRC, Daintree ACS Pty Ltd agreed to rescind the termination notices and that any future restructuring would be in consultation with the NSWNA and would avoid ‘formal termination of employees’.n








Campaigning pays off for nurses

Fair Conditions Fair Pay for public hospital nurses


ot on the heels of a stunning win in the Your Rights at Work campaign late last year, the NSWNA kicked off 2008 with our Fair Conditions Fair Pay – Nurses Stay campaign to improve pay and conditions for public health sector nurses. The Fair Conditions, Fair Pay – Nurses

Stay campaign achieved huge gains for public hospital nurses, including a 7.95% pay rise over two years (when the Government had argued for 2.5% per year); the creation of new CNE/ CNS classifications improving pay, conditions and career paths for specialist nurses; a Continuing Education Allowance for ENs with advanced

diplomas; and the right of part-timers to choose to increase contracted hours or swap to full-time. Also, winning the right to pursue improved night duty penalty rates (currently underway) and better pay for experienced nurses (commencing early next year) in the Australian Industrial Relation Commission was a solid win for nurses.

Nurses voted overwhelmingly across the state to accept the Government’s offer.

Nurses gathered in Martin Place for a pre-dawn vigil commemorating Florence Nightingale on International Nurses Day and to increase pressure on the State Government to respond to the NSWNA’s pay claim three months after it was lodged.


g 2008 has been a great year of gains for NSWNA members with our campaigns boosting nursesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rights at work and improving pay and conditions across all nursing sectors.

Leeton nightshift nurses served up a cooked brekky in their pjs to highlight inadequate penalty rates for night duty during the campaign.

THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; JANUARY 2009 27







Campaigning pays off for nurses

Nurses at Wyoming Nursing Home celebrated their ground-breaking Union Collective Agreement with The Hardi Aged Care Group, which delivered wage movements of between 4.5 and 29%, and improved classifications, pay scales and conditions.

Bargaining wins in aged care The NSWNA also made great gains in our campaign to improve pay and conditions for aged care nurses by assisting members to bargain for Union Collective Agreements with their employers. More than 60 aged care employers have now offered their employees Union Collective Agreements, based on the template agreement developed by the NSWNA in conjunction with the HSU and Aged and Community Services Association.

Aged care nurses at a bargaining workshop at the NSWNA Annual Conference. 28 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; JANUARY 2009

NSWNA delegates Jan Shanks, Jillian Thurlow and Jane Cooper prepare to negotiate Union Collective Agreements in their workplaces.

Fighting for parity in private hospitals Debbie Lang, CNS at North Gosford Private Hospital, said her colleagues were ‘totally up for the campaign’, while Suzana Tanevska (right), RN at St George Private Hospital, said the campaign got many private hospital nurses at her workplace interested in the Union.

With current private hospital agreements expiring in September and October, the NSWNA also began campaigning for Union Collective Agreements that deliver closer parity in pay and conditions with the NSW public health sector. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 29

Nursing and Midwifery Pre-registration and post-registration courses Graduate Entry Master of Nursing Combined degrees with Arts, Science and Health Sciences Research Degrees Coursework degrees


Applications are still open for 2009

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Q & A




Extra pay level for CNEs Public health has a CNE 1 and a CNE 2 (after 1 year of satisfactory performance) rate. If I have worked as a CNE for 4 years, am I entitled to CNE 2?

No, you will be on the new CNE 1 salary rate. The new award definition says in part: ‘Incremental progression to the 2nd year and thereafter rate shall be upon completion of 12 months satisfactory full-time service.’ The transitional arrangements are set out in Department of Health circular ‘Clinical Nurse/Midwife Educators Definition and Educator Grades 1, 2 & 3 Award Classifications’ (PD2008_043): Nurses employed as CNE/CME as at 1 July 2008 will transition to the new CNE/CME two year pay scale at the 1st Year pay rate. You may be eligible for a Continuing Education Allowance which now applies to CNEs.

Annual leave not approved I work in the public sector and applied for annual leave during the Christmas/New Year holiday period. When I handed in my form my NUM was supportive and positive that I should be able to have the time off. Following her verbal response, I organised a holiday and have paid booking fees and flights costs. My NUM has now come to me and told me that I cannot have the dates requested and that my leave is not approved. Can she cancel my leave like

this and do I have any recourse in terms of the money I will lose?

All annual leave needs to be officially approved by the employer and should be approved in writing. While your NUM may have encouraged you to submit a form for consideration this does not mean that your leave has been approved and the NUM reserves the right to, after looking at the rosters and other applications, not approve your leave. Your manager does not have to approve your leave because you have made holiday bookings and you should speak with your NUM and travel agent about possible alternatives. You should never book and pay for holidays before you have written approval.

Cover for Workers’ Comp during lunch I am a day shift worker rostered Monday to Friday and usually have lunch in the park across the road from the facility where I work. Am I covered by Workers’ Compensation if I sustain an injury during my lunch break?

Yes, you are covered. Section 11 of the Workers’ Compensation Act 1987 states: If a worker on any day on which the worker has attended at the worker’s place of employment pursuant to the worker’s contract of service or training contract: (a) is temporarily absent from that place on that day during any ordinary recess or authorised absence, (b) does not during that absence voluntarily


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subject himself or herself to any abnormal risk of injury, and (c) receives a personal injury during that absence, the injury is, for the purposes of this Act, an injury arising out of or in the course of employment, and compensation is payable accordingly. Therefore, in the event of an injury you would need to report the incident to your manager, complete an incident form and be reviewed by your doctor. Members who suffer a work place injury and are unsure of their entitlements, or are dissuaded from making a claim, should contact the Association for advice.

August Bank holiday reallocated Can you advise when the August Bank Holiday has been allocated over the Christmas/New Year period? I work in a public hospital and also a nursing home in my area and have heard two different dates from both employers.

NSW Health has announced that the forthcoming additional public holiday that is usually rostered between Christmas and New Year for public hospital employees has been allocated for Friday, 2 January. Staff employed in nursing homes or private hospitals will need to check with management to clarify which day has been allocated in their facility as, unless otherwise formally agreed between the Association and the employer, it can be any day during the period that is not a public holiday.n

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Merry Christmas from the g NSWNA wishes all members a Merry Christmas and offers you the chance to be part of this year’s $6,000 Christmas giveaway.

Deluxe Sydney Festival and Swissôtel prize Win two Sydney Festival tickets to Fanfare Ciocarlia at the State Theatre on Thursday, 15 January, at 8pm; plus a two-night stay in Swissôtel Sydney’s Swiss Classic Room for two including a Buffet Breakfast at Swissotel’s Jpb Restaurant. Fanfare Ciocarlia are Balkan master musicians whose concerts are always a party. Winners of the 2006 BBC Radio Awards for World Music, they are the world’s foremost Gypsy brass band. Book online or phone 1300 723 038 to see this fabulous concert. Swissôtel Sydney’s designer rooms overlook the city skyline and the five-star Classic room includes a 26" LCD flat screen TV, wireless internet access along with spacious bath and separate shower recess. To book, call 9238 8833 or go to 32 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

Eaglereach adventure Sydney Festival tickets for four Win two tickets to the Masters of Tradition performance at the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, on Sunday, 25 January, at 5pm; plus two tickets to the ParadeTheatre, Kensington, to see the Gate Theatre Dublin’s production of Faith Healer on Saturday, 17 January, 7.30pm. Featuring musicians who wowed Sydney Festival audiences in 2007, Masters of Tradition is a unique event celebrating the finest of Irish music. Faith Healer, performed by Dublin’s famous Gate Theatre, is arguably Brian Friel’s greatest play influencing a generation of Irish writing for the theatre. Book online or phone 1300 888 412.

Win a $1,500 Discover Eaglereach adventure for up to four guests staying three nights’ at the Eaglereach Wilderness Resort – just two hours from Sydney. If you miss out in the Christmas draw, you can make a reservation by phoning 4938 8233. (See advertisment on page 33.)

Pink Joey Pouches Win this special edition of the Nurse’s Joey® Junior. We have five to giveaway! If you miss out, don’t worry – you can buy them for $30 (incl. postage and handling) by calling (02) 9550 1234 or order from the NSWNA website. We’ll also donate 5% to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

00 0 , 6

Christm a





HOW TO ENTER To be in the draw for one of these fabulous prizes, write your name, address, membership number, and the prize you want to win (a separate entry/envelope is required for each prize), on the back of an envelope and mail to: NSWNA Christmas Giveaway PO Box 40, Camperdown NSW 1450 Competition closes 18 December 2008.

Delly Carr

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A stylish leather handbag for the modern woman on the move! The bag has a wallet and an organiser built into it. This means nurses won’t leave these important things behind anymore. Valued at $249 each, we have two black and two chocolate brown bags to give away for Christmas. If you miss out in the Christmas draw, you can still grab one of these stylish bags – order online on or call 6682 2675. They have a Christmas special: buy two for $400 (save $98).

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown

We have six copies of each of these top selling Hachette books to give away. Britt Shelley, a hotshot newswoman, is offered the scoop of her career. The next morning she wakes up naked in the informants’ bed only to find him lying beside her – dead. She remembers nothing of the evening before but the police don’t believe her. As the finger of blame points her way, she realises she is the next victim ...

Tics to the cricket

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver

Here’s your chance to see the RTA SpeedBlitz Blues at the 2008/09 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. We have 10 double passes to each of the domestic Twenty20 matches this summer at ANZ Stadium Homebush against WA on 30 December, Tasmania on 12 January and defending champions, Victoria, on 17 January. All games start at 7:15pm. Tickets are available for $20 per adults, $15 for concessions and $50 per family. Go to www.ticketek. or purchase tickets at the gate.

Lincoln Rhyme’s cousin has been arrested for murder. The evidence is compelling but Rhyme agrees to check it out. It turns out that the true killer, who knows every single detail about the lives of the victims and the men he sets up, planted incontrovertible evidence to frame them ...

The Point of Rescue by Sophie Hannah Sally is watching the news with her husband when she hears the name of a man she had met on a secret holiday. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that Sally has never seen the man before – and Geraldine and Lucy are both dead ...

All the Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson Mark Hardcastle, a well-liked set designer, is found hanging from a tree. Everything points to suicide but why would such a man want to take his own life? DCI Alan Banks soon finds himself plunged into a shadow-world where nothing is what it seems, and the deeper he digs the more he realises his friends and family are at risk. Available at all good book shops. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 33



Health spared in tough mini-budget g According to the NSW Government, health is spared from the cuts announced in the recent state mini-budget but the NSWNA remains cautious.


he State Government says that while the mini-budget is tough they have quarantined front line services. Treasurer Eric Roozendaal said the health budget of $13.2 billion has been maintained. This figure was an increase of 5% on the previous year, which in turn was an increase of 7.2% on the previous year.

The mini-budget includes a staff freeze on all ‘non-frontline public servants’ until the end of next year. The Government also flagged a merger of back office functions of some Area Health Services. NSWNA Secretary Brett Holmes cautiously welcomed the sparing of health from the Treasury razor, but said there were still likely to be consequences for nurses. ‘Overall the health budget hasn’t

been reduced but there is real pressure to reduce spending in line with budgets. The government has identified $295 million in savings to be made annually,’ he said. ‘NSW Health says the freeze on staffing won’t affect frontline positions and anything clinical is frontline. But we are concerned there may be an impact on some nurse positions. We will have to see how it plays out with the Area Health Linda Kelly, SSWAHS Nurse Educator at Concord Hospital, (at microphone) was impressed with Premier Rees’ on-the-spot response to her mini-budget concerns regarding AHS clinical network mergers and the sell-off of state-owned nursing homes. ‘It was very promising. I thought he listened carefully and understood the points I was making.’


Girls just wanna have FUN... NATHAN REES FRONTS UP

TO NURSE DELEGATES NSW Premier Nathan Rees made a surprise visit to the November Committee of Delegates meeting. ‘I want to pay tribute to you and the nurses you represent. The health system has its challenges but we should still hold our heads high. You should be proud,’ he told delegates. ‘I thank you not just for the clinical work that you do but also as delegates protecting the pay and conditions of your members.’ The Premier said he had ‘made a clear and unequivocal decision about quarantining frontline services’ in the mini-budget and vowed to be a strong advocate with the Federal Government for increased funding for health in NSW. ‘I’ll try and get more money out of Kevin Rudd. The health workforce needs serious remedial work. Appropriate pay and conditions for you – who are the backbone of the system – needs to be addressed. I have written to the Prime Minister about this.’ NSW General Secretary Brett Holmes said it was the first time a NSW Premier had addressed a Committee of Delegates meeting. ‘This was an approach from the Premier himself to come here.’

Services and how they interpret the department’s directives. Early messages from Chief Executives are gloomy.’ Brett said NSW Health, in talks with the Association, raised that they want to change the skill-mix in small hospitals and introduce more AiNs. They say they will continue to sell off government-owned nursing homes. ‘We will have a battle around adequate staffing, skill-mix and rural health services providing long-stay aged care will be really challenged,’ he said.

Canberra needs to pull its weight in funding The State Government claims that one of the fundamental reasons for NSW’s budgetary problems is the shift in health costs from Canberra to state governments. In 1971 health expenditure represented 14.6% of the total NSW budget but by last year this had increased to around 28%. Treasurer Roozendaal said this reflects increased demand driven by an ageing population, advancing technology and rising health costs. ‘The original health funding agreement between the states and Canberra established a 50-50 split for government funding of public hospitals. Right now, Canberra’s contribution to NSW public hospitals is around 40%. NSW is forced to make up the difference,’ he said. ‘On this point, I agree with this dire warning from the independent NSW Auditor General: “At this rate, funding for health will consume the entire state budget by 2033”.’n






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Lucky members win Lotto g Join the Union and you might win Lotto! Just ask members at Tweed Heads Hospital who hit the Lotto jackpot.


hristmas came early to a group of hard-working North Coast nurses who hit the Lotto jackpot last month. The syndicate of 23 nurses, who are all NSWNA members, and one wardsperson from Tweed Heads Hospital, delighted their colleagues when they collected nearly $800,000 on what was to be their last ever Lotto entry. ‘This has been the best morale booster at the hospital,’ said NUM Pam Barrett. ‘Everyone was just so happy for us. ‘The girls on Sunday night-duty


discovered the results and proceeded to ring all of us at 3am and ask if we wanted 30 grand! – that was in between running around and screaming,’ she said. ‘I’m usually very resistant to picking up the phone in the middle of the night – I mean, who gets good news at that hour? ‘This has been a great reward for a bunch of nurses who do a really difficult job. Even the Director of Nursing came down to congratulate us – she thought it was just brilliant.’ The group won a total of $769,230.77, which equated to $32,051.28 for each member – a pretty

impressive return on their on their investment. Pam estimates that they’ve spent about $500 each over the five years of the syndicate – less a small previous win totalling $329. The members all worked in the hospital’s coronary care unit until it was split last year, making it difficult to organise the group. Subsequently, they had planned to disband the five-year-old syndicate after the November draw, though, according to syndicate member Kellie Thompson, CNS, they ‘might just have to keep it going now’. ‘Staff morale had been pretty flat just before the win but we’re all on cloud nine now. We’d like to think we won because everyone was a member of the NSW Nurses’ Association – which is not


o o o o o o o


Great service Low fees Excellent investment returns Good value insurance Investment choice Profits go to members Extra benefits for members

Nursing students interested in advanced practice in aged care talk to Transitional Nurse Practitioner Debbie Deasey (seated). (Clockwise from left) Ronald Shekede, Shristi Tuladhar, Junghwa Hur, Jessica Wang,nurses Wei Lu,break Solomon Tweed Heads Hospital’s Lotto-winning out Kebede and Martin Thuku Laurentheir Tancred. the bubbly to and celebrate win

surprising really as we’ve got a strong membership up here,’ she told The Lamp. Liz Delbridge, RN, one of the syndicate organisers, and the first to discover the win on the internet, said it had been an exciting few weeks and had created a fantastic buzz at the hospital. ‘I think everyone was so happy for us because so many of us won – we all feel like we’re winners,’ she said. ‘Even though we were only one of 26 divisionone winners, we did so well because it was the big $20 million draw. ‘Due to the difficulties collecting the entry money there were a few stragglers but I can assure you there was a mad rush to pay-up the funds once the word of the win spread.’ According to Pam, there have been several Greek Island trips booked already. ‘Last I heard someone had bought a new car, another had paid off their mortgage and someone else is putting a deposit on a house,’ she said.n

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This information from Health Industry Plan is general only. It is not specific to your personal financial situation, objectives or needs. Get the facts from or talk to a financial advisor before making any super decisions. The Trustee of HIP is Private Hospitals Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 59 006 792 749, AFSL 247063. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 37



Review by Stephanie Gray, RN, Rose Bay Gardens Nursing Home

I’ve loved you so long g Sublimely acted drama of family secrets and redemption.


he beautiful Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a distant and withdrawn woman with a hard exterior. After being away for years, she returns to stay with her younger sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) who, with a young family, exciting job, and full life, seems her polar opposite. It is initially a happy reunion, but one that is also tainted by the past. For 15 years, Juliette has had no ties with a family who had rejected her and she knows nothing of Lea’s family – husband Luc (Serge Hazanavivious), two young adopted daughters from Vietnam and Luc’s live-in father. As the siblings begin to rebuild their relationship, Juliette does her best to carry on with everyday life, but everyone has questions ... Juliette’s potential employers, her

inquisitive young niece Lys (Lise Segur) and her sister’s friends all want to know where this beautiful, elusive woman has been hiding for so long and what she has been doing. As the circumstances surrounding Juliette’s long absence gradually unfold, painful secrets are brought to the surface and threaten to devastate her life all over again. This film has many interwoven relationships. I particularly like the relationship she has, albeit briefly, with police captain Faure (Frederic Pierrot). Like Juliette, he reveals a fractured humanity and their relationship raises the question of the unintentional good or bad we can do someone through a gesture made, or something said – or not said. It is deeply moving how close these two become. But primarily the film draws you into the life of Juliette and how she copes with life after 15 years of incarceration and people’s reactions. She is helped by characters who draw her back into the light and teach her how to trust again. On one hand, the film has you questioning Juliette’s motive for what she



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did, while also imbuing great compassion for a woman who is trying to rebuild her shattered life. Though a little long and emotionally draining in places, it is definitely a must-see film. Kristin Scott Thomas is impressive. Though her character is secret and mysterious, she expresses so many things without a word. This is an exceptionally thoughtprovoking and profoundly touching story. I recommend it. It will have you questioning your own motives for things that you say and do.n I’ve Loved You So Long opens on 26 December.


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Vicky Cristina Barcelona g A Spanish love triangle


ooking for something different? Tired of movies where you easily guess the plot? This latest Woody Allen movie makes a refreshing change. Vicky Cristina Barcelona takes you on a journey with two American friends, the sensible Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and the sensual Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), as they experience a summer in Barcelona staying with a distant relative, Judy (Patricia Clarkson). The friends share similar tastes but have different outlooks on love and life. Vicky is doing her Masters and about to marry, and Cristina is searching for an elusive ‘something’ after a broken relationship and a disappointing career. A chance meeting and proposition from a handsome local artist (of the smouldering unshaven, slightly-sleazy type) starts the sisters on an emotional rollercoaster ride that has them questioning what they thought they wanted, eventually surprising each other and themselves.

GIVEAWAYS FOR NSWNA MEMBERS Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married Since moving out of her parents housing estate flat, 24-year-old Lucy Sullivan (Sam Loggin) has landed an apartment in trendy West London, a job in the city and on the lookout for love. Her search intensifies after a fortune teller proclaims she will be married within one year. Lucy is smitten with good-looking,

The painter, Juan Antonio, is played by Javier Bardem, the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar (No Country For Old Men). Juan Antonio’s ex-wife, Maria Elena, has long-standing mental health problems and first appears after a suicide attempt. Their passionate but problematic relationship is central to the plot, and her instability creates dramatic conflicts with the other characters. Penelope Cruz’ portrayal of Maria Elena is electric and is rumoured to be worthy of an Oscar nomination. Her character highlights the need for appropriate care and support for mental health patients. The story unfolds by narration leaving you feel like a voyeur peeking into the characters’ lives, watching them unfold while the narrator fills us in on their thoughts, feelings and actions. Written as a romantic comedy but with some deeper issues afoot, it is far more complex than your average holiday romance. A simple description of a love triangle would deny the fact that it flips every which way to form many triangles and includes several characters. With its

quirky style, mesmerising scenery and Spanish music, Vicky Cristina Barcelona feels a little like a foreign arthouse film. Much of Maria Elena’s dialogue is in Spanish, thankfully subtitled. You may detest subtitles, but they just become another part of her character and her outbursts – and there is even subtle humour built into their usage. As a comedy, this movie is of the almost-constantly-smiling variety with a few great laugh-out-loud moments. Even the most dramatic situations are laced with some kind of humour so you hardly have time to be shocked before you are smirking again! Immerse yourself for 96 minutes in an unconventional but enjoyable mix of romance, comedy and drama set amongst fabulous architecture in beautiful locations.n Vicky Cristina Barcelona opens on 26 December.

smooth-talking Gus (Gerard Butler). As her pursuit quickly turns sour, Lucy turns to her friends for comfort, including Daniel (Pascal Langdale). As Daniel starts dating her flat-mate Karen (Zoe Eeles), it becomes apparent that his feelings for Lucy run much deeper than he prepares to admit. At the same time, Daniel is suspicious of Gus, putting his relationship with Lucy on the rocks. Meanwhile Lucy’s workmate Megan (Sara Stockbridge) has begun a secret affair … with Gus. Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married is adapted from Marian Keyes’ top-selling

novel. It elicits the tangled emotional web of everyday relationships and romance with humor and flair. The Lamp has four DVD packs of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, 25 double passes to I’ve Loved You So Long and 100 double passes to Vicky Cristina Barcelona. To enter, email with your name, membership number, address and contact number. First entries win!

Review by Sharon Ketelaar, RN, St George Hospital




Book me John Murtagh’s General Practice Companion Handbook (4th edition) By John Murtagh, McGraw-Hill Australia, RRP $50.00 : ISBN 9780070134591 John Murtagh’s General Practice Companion Handbook features six new chapters and comprehensive updates to existing content throughout. Widely recognised as the most influential publication for general practice and primary health care, substantial changes have been made for this revision to ensure currency, readability and ease of navigation. In this new edition there is a greater emphasis on chronic disease management, reflecting the changing nature of community medicine.

Community as a Partner: Theory and Practice in Nursing Australia and New Zealand Edition By Karen Francis, Ysanne Chapman, Karen Hoare and Jane Mills, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Sydney, RRP US$70.00 : ISBN 9781920994044 ‘Community as a Partner is an invaluable resource for students, practising community nurses and other health professionals. Up-to-date and rich in detail this new textbook explores the World Health Organization’s policies and goals for health for all and discusses and demonstrates how these policies are being implemented at a national and local level in Australia and New Zealand. The partnership approach taken in Community as Partner provides a framework for

planning health promotion programs with local communities. A wide range of community groups are introduced and analysed. A variety of examples of actual health promotion programs and activities are provided to show how effective partnerships can be forged to promote the health and well-being of local communities.’ – provided by publisher.

Mastering Bipolar Disorder: An Insider’s Guide to Managing Mood Swings and Finding Balance Edited by Kerrie Eyers and Gordon Parker, Black Dog Institute (distributed by Allen and Unwin Book Publishers), RRP $24.95 : ISBN 9781741755466 Mastering Bipolar Disorder gathers stories about bipolar disorder from the inside. It is rich with tips and tactics tried and true from people who themselves have learned to master the bipolar roller-coaster. Tremendously disturbing for both sufferers and their families, even in its milder form, this book provides the information everyone with bipolar disorder needs to know to make the most of their lives.

Quick Look Nursing: Obstetric and Pediatric Pathophysiology By Bernadette Madara, Carol T. Avery, Vanessa PomaricoDenino and Linda Wagner, Jones and Bartlett (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP $52.00 : ISBN 9780763741174 Quick Look Nursing: Obstetric and Pediatric Pathophysiology is a reference book


The Other ANZACS: Nurses at War, 1914-1918 By Peter Rees, Allen and Unwin Book Publishers, RRP $49.95 : ISBN 9781741755497 Profoundly moving, The Other Anzacs is a story of extraordinary compassion and courage shown by a group of Australian and New Zealand women whose contribution to the Anzac legend has barely been recognised in our history. Using diaries and letters, Peter Rees takes the reader into the hospital camps, the wards and the tent surgeries. This is a story from a different era, where women had just begun their quest for equality and rights to vote. They were on the frontline of social change as well as war. The hurdles they had to overcome and the price they paid, personally and professionally, make them a unique 40 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009group in Anzac history.

that covers obstetrics, women’s health issues and pediatric pathophysiology. This text is a highly useful reference for nursing students in Pediatric and OB clinical courses and for nurses working on OB/ GYN or pediatric units. Women’s health topics include all aspects of reproduction and family health such as normal and high risk pregnancy, menopause and STDs. The pediatric section is organised by a body system approach and covers common pediatric health deviations with an emphasis on epidemiology, pathophysiology, and common management strategies.

Foundations of Nursing: An Integrated Approach Edited by Cliff Evans and Emma Tippins, McGraw-Hill Education Publishers, RRP £27.99 : ISBN 9780335225255 Foundations of Nursing: An Integrated Approach uniquely combines anatomy and physiology with principles of nursing practice to present a unified approach to patient care and the nurses role for those coming to it for the first time. By combining this coverage at introductory level and providing insight and coverage of branches outside of Adult -the book should be perfect for the CFP student. Each chapter begins by presenting the underpinning anatomy and physiology for the system, using text, diagrams, boxes and clinical presentations. After the systems are explored, a section looking at The Branches will provide the relevant level of insight into each branch required at common foundation programme level. In the final section, there are chapters on First Aid and Pharmacology/Drug Calculations.n

WHERE TO GET THIS MONTH’S NEW RELEASES These books are all available on order through the publisher or your local bookshop. Members of the NSWNA can borrow any of these books and more from our Records and Information Centre. For borrowing information, contact Jeannette Bromfield, 8595 2175, or Cathy Matias, 8595 2121, Reviews by NSWNA librarian, Jeannette Bromfield.


McGraw-Hill: Elsevier Australia: Allen & Unwin: Jones and Bartlett: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Sydney:







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Reforming health care n 25 February 2008, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health and Ageing announced the establishment of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. The Commission has been established to develop a long-term health reform plan for a modern Australia. This month Nursing Online features four key contributions to the current discourse.


Achieving Safe, Satisfying and Sustainable Maternity Services in Australia Australian College of Midwives This submission urges the Commission to recommend reforms to Australia’s maternity services in its report to Government. Discussions of health reform usually focus on issues such as chronic disease, accident and emergency care, mental health and aged care. While these are important areas of healthcare, so too is maternity care. The 1999 Senate Inquiry into Childbirth Procedures found that maternity bed days accounts for the largest single use of hospital bed days in Australia each year. The escalation of operative birth is also putting unnecessary pressure not just on extended bed days in hospital for women postnataly but also on surgical resources, contracting opportunities for elective surgery and health care funding. As such the provision of maternity care accounts for a substantial proportion of annual hospital expenditures and services. c

publishing.nsf/Content/027-acw/ $FILE/027%20-%20SUBMISSION %20-%20Australian%20College% 20of%20Midwives.pdf

A health policy for Australia - reclaiming universal health care Ian McAuley and John Menadue The short-termism of successive governments has given Australia a set of health policies which are increasingly complex, inequitable, inefficient and incoherent. Opportunistic initiatives, such as the subsidisation of private health insurance,

cost-shifting between governments, arbitrary imposts on users, and protection of vested provider interests are putting our health care arrangements under stress. So too is neglect, particularly neglect of fundamental efficiency reforms and of longer term workforce issues. That stress is manifest in many ways – in misallocation of scarce health care resources (particularly away from prevention and primary care), in administrative inefficiency, and, above all, a loss of universalism. This ReThink paper proposes basic reforms. Rather than the ‘patch ups’ which have characterised health policy for many years, it suggests a fundamental re-design. We can use the same health care resources that we have at present in both the private and public sectors, but we can employ them more efficiently and effectively. Universalism should be restored and embedded. A universal system is not only fair; it is also the most affordable in terms of private and public spending, as is clear from the examples set by countries with universal systems. An important aspect of citizenship is that we should all use the same high standard health care services, rather than a ‘two tier’ set of services. c

publishing.nsf/Content/060-cpd/ $FILE/Submissions%20060%20-%20 Centre%20for%20Policy%20Develop ment%20Attachment%20A.pdf

New and emerging nurse-led models of primary health care Mary Chiarella The contributions of nurses and midwives form the backbone of PHC services worldwide, although in Australia much of this contribution has been of an adhoc nature and has therefore not come to prominence

in the same way as in other developed and developing countries. There is a real need for policy, funding and education that creates a space for nurses to deliver effective and equitable primary health care services. It is anticipated that these international exemplars can provide valuable insight into what could be achieved by actively promoting the role of nurses in PHC in Australia. This paper will begin by stating some overarching assumptions about the future of primary health care in Australia, then will briefly describe the work undertaken for the global compendium, will focus on the key findings of the study and will then highlight potential areas of development and change that might occur with relative ease within the Australian context. c

publishing.nsf/Content/16F7A93D 8F578DB4CA2574D7001830E9/ $File/New%20and%20emerging% 20nurse-led%20models%20of% 20primary%20health%20care%20 (M%20Chiarella).pdf

Submission from the Australian Nurse Practitioner Association to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission The Australian Nurse Practitioner Association The expansion of nursing roles has been an important feature of health care in recent years, stimulating much debate in which the role of the nurse practitioner has been central. The pressures on health care provision have encouraged re-orientation of health services to cost effectively meet consumer needs whilst also facilitating the patient’s journey within the health system. Nurse practitioners have responded to this challenge in a well planned and rigorous manner. They have developed advanced skills and expanded their scopes of practice, providing safe, comprehensive, timely and efficient access to excellent nursing care for their patients and their communities. c

publishing.nsf/Content/014-anpa/ $FILE/014%20Australian%20Nurse% 20Practitioners%20Association%20 Submission.pdf THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 43

I n t e r n at i o n a l N u r s e s ’ D ay 2 0 0 9

Got a great idea? Then enter the NSWNA’s 2009 International Nurses’ Day $1000 Poster Competition! Each year the NSW Nurses’ Association distributes over 8,000 International Nurses’ Day posters to workplaces across NSW. These posters go across the state to public health facilities, private hospitals, aged care facilities, universities and TAFEs, in fact to all workplaces that employ nurses! Tell us what you would like to see portrayed on the 2009 poster. The winner’s poster design, slogan and concept will then be used as the basis for the 2009 NSW Nurses’ Associations International Nurses’ Day poster. Guidelines. Try to think of a short catchy slogan that best represents the work nurses 44 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

do. A slogan that will make nurses feel good about themselves and will also highlight to the public exactly what an valuable asset nurses are to the community. Also you don’t have to be a Rubens or a Rembrandt. All you need to do is sketch out your idea for a suitable poster image that will go with your slogan. We will do the rest by getting a professional graphic artist or photographer to work on your design idea for the finished poster. However if you are a Rubens or Rembrandt, and can provide a fabulous visual image suitable for reproduction, we will of course use that image.

For further informat form go to NSW Nur ion and entry se Website: www.nswnur s’ Association’s ses.asn Phone: Lynne Ridge .au, or on (02) 8595 1234 met ro or 1300 367 9620, or Email: Lynne Ridge lridge@nswnurses.asnon .au

CRoSSWoRD Test your knowledge in this month’s nursing crossword.







7 8

9 10







17 18


20 21



24 25

26 27



1. 4.

Cancer ward (8) Disease caused by lack of vitamin C (6) Drug often used to reduce inflammation (7) Part of the gut (9) Parasites (11) Lungful of air (6) Elevator (4) Burn with hot water (5) Where the ulna is found (7)

8. 10. 11. 16. 17. 19. 20.

22. Hordeolum (4) 25. Medical person within a specific area (10) 26. Swelling (6) 27. High incidence of disease in a population (8) s


1. 2. 3. 5. 6.

Part of the throat (10) Treatment for cancer (12) Ring, circle (4) Nearer (6) They carry blood back to the heart (5)

7. 9. 12. 13. 14. 15. 18.

Parasite on the scalp (3) Open, expand (6) Has rabies (5) Hydrates (6) Abnormal shape in the eye (10) Used to treat infections (10) Hangs around your neck with your ID on it (7) 21. Relating to the nose (5) 22. Pimple, blemish (4) 23. You use them to see (4) 24. Building block of life (4) Solution page 49 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 45

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE. There are unique callings that attract unique people. Those who want to inspire others and help them learn. Those who want to offer spiritual help and counsel, who’ll empower, support and encourage. People who care about social justice and equity and inclusion as they relate to individuals, families, communities and regions. People who choose to develop leadership skills based on emotional, social and ethical intelligence.

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The College of Nursing creating nursing’s future FEBRUARY 2009

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Clinical assessment of older persons RN 2–3 February 2009 (Port Macquarie)

ECG Interpretation: Introduction EN & RN 2 March 2009

Special care nurseries EN & RN 12–13 March 2009 (Coffs Harbour)

Physical assessment workshop EN & RN 10–11 February 2009

Clinical decision making EN & RN 3 March 2009

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Triage RN 11–12 February 2009

The College of Nursing has an exciting range of short courses prepared for 2009.

CNE development RN 12–13 February 2009

Diagnostic tests and X-Ray interpretation RN 3 March 2009

Confusion in acute care: Differential diagnosis of dementia, depression and delirium EN & RN 17–18 March 2009

Take a look at what’s happening in February and March. All courses attract CPD hours and are held on campus at Burwood NSW unless otherwise stipulated. Fees for courses vary depending on length of course. Members of the College receive a discount on fees and a further discount for early-bird registration applies. For more information, or to obtain your copy of the 2009 Handbook, call 02 9745 7500 or email:

Aged care and rehabilitation RN; NSW Health funded 16–18 February 2009 (Taree) Gynaecology oncology nursing – Advanced concepts EN & RN 16 February 2009 Acute surgical nursing EN & RN 17–18 February 2009 Rostering principles RN 18 February 2009 Palliative/end of life care EN & RN 23–24 February 2009 (Wagga Wagga) Community and outreach care: Contemporary issues EN & RN 26 February 2009 Aboriginal health: Contemporary issues EN & RN 27 February 2009 (Tamworth)

46 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 continuing professional development

Communication skills and workplace challenges EN & RN 4–5 March 2009 Nursing & midwifery unit management: A survival toolkit RN 5–6 March, 26–27 March & 16–17 April 2009 Bariatric nursing and surgery EN & RN 6 March 2009 Clinical skills development for the acute care setting EN & RN 9–13 March 2009 Documentation for quality improvement EN & RN 11 March 2009 Paediatric nursing: An introduction EN & RN 11–13 March 2009

Current issues in chemotherapy RN 17 March 2009 Clinical risk management RN 18 March 2009 Perioperative nursing: Introduction RN 23–25 March 2009 Stroke: Acute management strategies EN & RN 24–25 March 2009 Perioperative nursing: Anaesthetics and Recovery Room RN 26–27 March 2009 Perioperative nursing: Scrub and scout RN 26–27 March 2009 Pharmacology in aged care RN 26–27 March 2009 Drug and alcohol issues EN & RN 30 March 2009 (Lismore)

Chronic and complex care EN & RN 12–13 March 2009 (Dubbo) Neuroleadership for senior managers RN 12–13 March & 5 June 2009

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2009 NSWNA Election of Branch Delegates and Alternate Delegates


ursuant to the Industrial Relations Act, 1996, Robert Leslie Whyburn will be the Returning Officer for the election of branch delegates and alternate delegates to the Annual Conference and the Committee of Delegates of the NSW Nurses’ Association.

NOMINATIONS Nominations in writing are requested on and from 1 January 2009 for the following positions: Branch delegates and alternate delegates to the Annual Conference and the Committee of Delegates. Each branch shall be entitled to elect such delegates according to the number of financial members in that branch as at 31 December 2008, as follows (information as to the number of financial members in each branch is available from each branch secretary, or the NSWNA, telephone 1300 367 962): c 50 financial members or less: 1 delegate c 51-130 (inclusive) financial members: 2 delegates c 131-300 (inclusive) financial members: 3 delegates c 301-500 (inclusive) financial members: 4 delegates c 501-750 (inclusive) financial members: 5 delegates c 751-1,000 (inclusive) financial members: 6 delegates c 1,001-1,250 (inclusive) financial members: 7 delegates c 1,251-1,500 (inclusive) financial members: 8 delegates c 1,501 financial members or more: 9 delegates Each branch shall be entitled to elect alternate

delegates equal to the delegate entitlement of that branch, provided that a branch shall be entitled to elect at least 2 alternate delegates. NOTE: A person may nominate for one of these positions only. Candidates for election to the position of branch delegate or alternate delegate are required to be financial members of the Association at the date of opening of nominations i.e. 1 January 2009. A person is not eligible to nominate for, be elected to, or hold any office in the Association, Committee of Delegates or branch thereof if: (i) such person holds any office in any other registered trade union or a like or kindred nature or having objects similar to the objects of the NSWNA other than the Australian Nursing Federation, (ii) such person has been, within the period of 2 years immediately preceding the date of nomination or election, dismissed from any office or position in accordance with rule 14 of the Association’s Rules. Pro forma nomination forms may be obtained from the returning officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, c/- NSW Nurses’ Association, 43 Australia Street, Camperdown or from NSWNA (telephone 1300 367 962) or from the Association’s member only section of the website.

CLOSE OF NOMINATIONS Nominations must be received by the returning officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, not later than noon on Wednesday 18 February, 2009. They may be hand delivered to Returning Officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, c/- NSW Nurses’ Association, 43 Australia Street, Camperdown; posted to P.O. Box 239, Camperdown, 1450 or faxed to (02) 9565 2747. Nominations

received after the time and date specified will not be accepted. Nominations cannot be lodged with the NSWNA. Any defect in a nomination must be rectified by the candidate prior to the close of nominations. A candidate may only withdraw his/her nomination in writing so as to be received by the returning officer prior to the close of nominations. Should more than the required number of nominations be received a draw will be conducted to determine the order of candidates’ names on the ballot paper at 43 Australia Street, Camperdown at 2.00pm, Monday 23 February 2009. Candidates or their representatives are invited to witness the draw.

VOTING If the election is contested a postal ballot will be conducted. All members of the relevant branch of the NSWNA financial as at noon, Wednesday 18 February 2009 and entitled to vote will be sent a ballot paper on Monday 2 March 2009. The ballot will close at 10.00am, Thursday 19 March 2009. The method of voting to be observed for this election will be first past the post. Any candidate in a contested election may nominate another person to act as their scrutineer at the counting of the ballot. Candidates should ring the Association to ascertain the date and time of counting. Members should ensure that the Association is aware of their current residential address as voting material will be posted to each member’s residential address. Any enquiries concerning this election should be in writing or by fax and be addressed to R L Whyburn. Robert Leslie Whyburn, Returning Officer for the 2009 NSW Nurses’ Association Election

NSWNA Membership Fees* 2009


embership fees for members of the NSWNA will be increased effective from 1 January 2009 as listed below.

Members who pay their fees by account will be invoiced these new rates in December 2008. Members who pay their fees by Direct



Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife





Enrolled Nurse





Assistant in Nursing1, Assistant in Midwifery, Trainee Enrolled Nurse, Residential Care Nurse





Debit or Automatic Credit Card will be charged the new rate from the first debit on or after 1 January 2009. Employers who deduct fees via your payroll system have been asked to deduct the new rate from the first full pay period in 2009. We ask that members check their pay slip to ensure that their pay office is deducting the correct amount.n * NSWNA fees are tax deductable and all inclusive of GST. 1 Trainee AiNs have their fees waived for the duration of their traineeship. THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 47

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Recommend a clinically proven treatment for bruises. 100

Hirudoid advantage

75 50 25

96 hours

50 hours



P < 0.01

Time in hours

Hirudoid dissolves bruises up to 50% faster than placebo.7


Hirudoid contains mucopolysaccharide (MPS) to accelerate healing. MPS improves blood flow, promotes tissue regeneration by increasing collagen and elastin fibres in connective tissue and stimulates synthesis of hyaluronic acid which increases water-binding capacity.1,2 Studies have shown that the MPS in Hirudoid penetrates the skin in effective concentrations.3

Limitation of arnica

Hirudoid relieves symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis 46% faster than placebo.8

A Cochrane review and others have found that arnica has no clear effect on bruising and swelling.4,5,6

Hirudoid is clinically proven.

150 125

Hirudoid advantage

100 75 50 25

126 hours

58 hours

0 Placebo

P < 0.05

Time in hours

MPS for healing


1.Baici A, et al. Inhibition of human elastase from polymorphonuclear leucocytes by a glycosaminoglycan polysulfate. Biochem Pharmacol 1980; 29: 1723-1727. 2.Mitsuyama S, et al. Effects of glycosaminoglycan polysulfate on extracellular matrix metabolism in human cells. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1994. 3. Elling H. Drug Research 1987; 37(2): 212-213. 4.Ernst, et al. Efficacy of homeopathic arnica: a systematic review of placebo-controlled clinical trials, Cochrane Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, 2008 Issue 1. 5.Homeopathic arnica for the treatment of soft tissue injury, Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 6.Is arnica a waste of money? 7.Larrson, et al. Percutaneous Treatment with a Mucopolysaccharide of Experimentally Induced Subcutaneous Haematomas in Man, Thrombosis and Haemostasis 1985; 53 (3): 343-345. 8.Mehta P, et al. Treatment of superficial thrombophlebitis: a randomized double-blind trial of heparinoid cream. BMJ 1975; 3: 614-616. amba5325/tl 48 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009

Diary Dates

DIARY DATES Conferences, seminars, meetings SYDNEY, HUNTER & ILLAWARRA UTS Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Day 2009 6 Jan 09, 9am-4pm, Broadway Campus Tower CB01. Contact: 9514 1711 or email School Nurses Association of NSW – Annual Conference 2009 22–23 Jan 09, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour Contact: AusTrauma 2009 – ‘Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery Conference‘ 13–14 Feb 09, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour Contact: Healthcare World 2009 17–19 Feb 09, Swissotel, Market St Contact: 9021 8808 or go to 3rd International Cerebal Palsy Conf. 18–21 Feb 09, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour Contact: 4th Annual Infectious Disease Control Conference – ‘Prevention, Detection & Containment Strategies to Respond to the Threat of Disease & Pandemic Outbreaks’ 23–25 Feb 09, Crowe Plaza Darling Harbour Contact: Australasian Cardiovascular Nursing College 09 Annual Scientific Meeting 27–28 Feb 09, Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Cost: $320-350. Contact: Enrolled Nurse Professional Day 21 March 2009, Tamworth. Contact: 1300 554 249 or email

2nd Annual Chronic Disease Management Australia Conference 6–8 April 09, Amora Jamison Sydney Contact:

INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Private Practice Special Interest Group – Conference 2009 6–7 March 09, Marque Hotel Canberra Contact: 1300 667 079, Aust. & NZ Urological Nurses Society (ANZUNS) Annual National Conf. 8–12 March 09, Broadbeach Convention Centre, Gold Coast Qld. Contact: (02) 9213 4048, Growing Together – Australian Association of Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Conference 2–4 April 09, Adelaide Convention Ctr. Contact: Jenny Boden, (03) 5977 0244 Australian Practice Nurses Assoc. – National Conference 2009 30 April – 2 May 09, Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Contact: (03) 5977 0244,

Social events Book Launch Nurse Managers: A Guide to Practice 2nd Edition By author: Andrew Crowther 11 Dec, Charles Sturt Uni. – Orange. Contact: Kellie Miles, (03) 9375 7311,

Diary Dates is a free service for members. Please send diary date details, in the same format used here – event, date, venue, contact details, via email, fax, mail and the web before the 5th of the month prior, for example: 5th of May for June Lamp. Send information to: Editorial Enquiries Email: Fax: 9550 3667 PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 Please double-check all information sent is correct. The Lamp cannot guarantee that the issue will always be mailed in time for the listed event. Due to high demands on Contact: Sharyn Noonan (Wellham), 6931 3451/ Alison Giese (Meek), 6926 6261 Sydney Hospital Group 79/1 30-years reunion, 7 Feb 09. Venue: TBA Contact: Merryn Hopkins, 0437 979 868. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney – March 1969 PTS – 40 Year Reunion 20 – 22 March 2009 Contact: Helen (Wilson) Kersten, 4232 1767/ 0417 651 881 or Jenny (Quilty) McNamara, 9344 5957/0412 508 332 RPAH April ’79 Group Reunion April 2009, Sydney CBD. Contact: Sydney Hospital Group 78/2 Seeking interest in 30-years reunion Contact: Carolyn Moir, 9346 1418 or email Royal Prince Alfred Hosp. Reunions July 1962–1966 group Seeking interest. Contact: Rosemary Cuneo, 9953 5257,


Other notices

Bellingen High School Reunion Calling all nurses, in particular looking for Lisa Robson & Michael Parker. 1st Form (1973) to Year 12 (1978). 27 Dec. Contact: Jenni Tyson, 6655 2094 or

Nurses’ Christian Fellowship Professional breakfast, 14 Feb, 9am, Gardens R’Us, 75 Gardeners Rd, Kingsford Contact: Jane 9449 4868

Workplace Research Centre Wagga Wagga Base Hosp. 1979 PTS – ‘Climate Change at Work’ Including Deniliquin and Temora girls. 7/3/08 09, 10:51:46 AM and 24 1 April 2009, Sydney Hilton 23 January Riverside Club Contact: 9351 5626, January 09, Union Club Hotel.

the page, some dates too close to publication or too far in the future may be cut. Only Diary Dates with an advised date and contact person will be published. Diary Dates are also on the web – Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups is now part of Diary Dates. If you are a special interest group, you now must send information about your event as above.

Send us your snaps If you’re having a reunion, send us some photos and any information from the night, and we’ll try to publish them. Hunter Activist Forum Wests Mayfield, Industrial Drive, Mayfield 11 December SESIAHS – North and Central Network Forum 135 Alison Rd, Randwick, 9 December Contact: Diana Cajas, 8595 1234 or

DISPLACED NURSES NEEDED FOR RESEARCH The NSWNA is currently researching the issue of displaced employees. Public sector nurses who are being salary-maintained as a result of displacement should contact Harry Maratheftis at the Association on 1300 367 962.

Crossword solution

NSWNA activist forums New England Activist Forum West Tamworth Leagues Club Phillip Street, West Tamworth, 17 Dec

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Continental Travelnurse THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009 49

Qualifications for PCAs and AINs Certificate III and IV in Aged Care Gain recognition for your skills and experience and meet current accreditation requirements.

Are you an enrolled nurse and want a pathway to study registered nursing at a university in 2009?

Our Certificate III in Aged Care is offered to PCAs and AINs by assessment – you could attain your qualification in just a few weeks, at a discounted rate. The program is open to individuals, and as a traineeship scheme to organisations.

TAFE Statement in Nursing – Bridging for Enrolled Nurses – Australian Catholic University (Course Number 3069) is being offered by TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute.

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Mobile lending service

A range of loans to suit your needs To find out more call 1300 309 374 or visit

Applications subject to credit approval. Fees & charges apply. Terms & conditions available on request. Members Equity Bank Pty Ltd ABN 56 070 887 679 AFS Licence: 229500. 107019 A4AD08-B/0908

52 THE LAMP DECEMBER 2008 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; JANUARY 2009

The Lamp December 2008 - January 2009  
The Lamp December 2008 - January 2009