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Tasmania’s nurses are claiming the Premier has reneged on a guarantee of ongoing employment for nearly a thousand nurses.
Nurses who have worked more than three years on a fixed-term contract are entitled to permanency under a State Service Commissioner’s direction.
The Australian Nursing Federation’s Neroli Ellis says the Premier Lara Giddings has now stepped in to over-ride the direction.
Unions claim the Tasmanian Government is set to force thousands of public servants to reapply for their positions.
The move has raised fears many will be sacked once their fixed-term contracts expire and those eligible for permanent status will not receive redundancies.
Mrs Ellis says the move affects 2,100 health employees, including 900 nurses.
“This is in breach of all state services principals,” she said.
“It’s in breach of all employment regulations and the Premier has directed this to now be put in place effective immediately.
“This is direct open fire at frontline services without even looking at the backroom areas, which is most concerning.
“Many of those nurses on fixed-term contracts have been on those contracts for years and the departments admit that that’s an administrative error, that they’ve been continuing on fixed-term contracts,” she said.
“But however this has been happening, these nurses had an expectation of ongoing employment.
“Now there is absolutely no guarantee, in fact a clear direction from the Premier that none of them will have ongoing employment.”
Unions claims the government’s move will affect all departments, including 1,800 education staff.
Several unions are are preparing an urgent appeal to the Industrial commission.
First published: 2011-11-28 04:06 AM