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Message of protest gets local: nurses can send a message of protest to John Howard in his own backyard.

Bennelong is the Prime Minister's own electorate. It covers an area of northern Sydney from Carlingford in the west to Chatswood West in the east, bounded by the Parramatta River in the south and the Lane Cove River in the north. The main suburbs include Epping, Eastwood, Gladesville, Macquarie Park, Marsfield, Meadowbank, Putney and Ryde.

It covers exactly the margin that would see a change of government. In an electorate where just 3,000 votes are needed to change the status of the Prime Minister's own seat, the 1,300 NSWNA members in Bennelong will have a major role to play in this key campaign.

NSWNA members in Bennelong face many workplace challenges. In particular, those working in local nursing homes and private hospitals can no longer rely on the pay, conditions and protections provided under the award. At local branch meetings, members have been vocal that WorkChoices has created a situation where employers only need to include five minimum basic working conditions--and anything in excess of these minimum conditions has had to be negotiated between employers and employees.

In response to these many workplace changes, a Bennelong-based Your Rights at Work community group has been formed by nurses and other working people. The aim of the group is to be a representative cross-section of the workforce including nurses, teachers and retail, hospitality, community and public sector workers.

NSWNA members in Bennelong were also invited to attend an important community forum on 26 June on the future of industrial relations. Guests invited to speak included Sandra Hoot OAM (Bennelong YR@W Committee), Judy King (Principal of Riverside Girls High School), John Robertson (Secretary UnionsNSW) and local representatives from NSWNA branches.

Workplaces with NSWNA members in Bennelong:

* Ryde Hospital & Community Health Service

* Royal Rehabilitation Centre Ryde

* Gladesville/Macquarie Hospital Campus

* Macquarie Hospital

* Mary Potter Nursing Home, Ryde

* Bethany Nursing Home, Eastwood

* Calvary Retirement Community Ryde

* Epping Surgery Centre

* Ryde Community Mental Health Service

* Marsfield Centre for Aged Care

For more information on the Bennelong Your Rights at Work committee contact: Sandra Hoot (OAM) (02) 9808 2436; or Rita Martin (02) 8595 1234;
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Publication:The Lamp
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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