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Strike Notice issued in Richmond Fellowship

Wednesday, 5 May, 2004

Strike Notice issued in Richmond Fellowship

“The National Union of Public Employees has today issued strike notices covering a 48 hour period, commencing on the 19 May, to private mental health provider Richmond Fellowship.” said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

“The notices are for a total withdrawal of labour and is the next step in an escalating campaign that began with low level industrial action in April. The action is in support of claims for a collective employment agreement will deliver fair pay and conditions for workers who look after some of the most challenging and vulnerable members of our society” said John Kerr.

“Some of our members are paid as little as eleven dollars an hour with no penal rates for working shifts in a 24 hour, seven day a week operation. NUPE and the Service and Food Workers’ Union (SFWU) has been in negotiations with Richmond Fellowship since before Christmas and the employer has only offered a ‘Clayton’s collective agreement’ that specifically excluded pay rates and rejected union proposals to standardise other conditions Stunned by what is, in effect, a zero pay offer, members feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action.

Our members do a magnificent job in very difficult conditions, a job where they are required to work collectively every day. It seems bizarre that management is not prepared to accord our members the respect that staff have for clients and provide decent wages and conditions”, said John Kerr.

“Our delegates have asked to meet CEO Gerry Walmisley and the Richmond Board to see if we could find a way forward. Sadly, Mr. Walmisley has refused to meet our delegates to date, shutting the door on a possible way forward” said John Kerr

“We now have a 14 period of grace to fix this problem before the strike and we look forward to talking to management” said John Kerr


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