In regards to the comic I uploaded today on the facebook group, a valuable source has given me some information around what the comic was depicting.
The Mercury, October 6 2000, Page 1
Action Jackson: Minister’s pledge to be a strikebreaker
By STEVEN DALLY
HEALTH Minister Judy Jackson yesterday vowed to become a strikebreaker in a dispute at the Royal Derwent Hospital.
The Labor minister – in a direct threat to Labor’s traditional support base, the unions – said she would move patients from the hospital to community care herself if unionists would not do the job.
But Health and Community Services Union state secretary Mike Hall snapped back: “I would like to see her try.”
And Tasmanian Trades and Labor Council secretary Lynne Fitzgerald delivered a veiled warning to the Government, saying she was sure Mrs Jackson would receive advice that such action was not appropriate.
“I would be surprised if she was serious,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
Mrs Jackson told the House of Assembly yesterday that the transfer of people from the hospital at New Norfolk would go ahead despite any industrial action.
When asked through an interjection whether she would “do it herself”, Mrs Jackson responded: “Exactly, I will, and I have a lot of other people to support me.”
Later, at a press conference, Mrs Jackson reinforced her comments, saying Labor had been committed to the de-institutionalisation of mental health for more than a decade “and this is not the time to halt this”.
“I will certainly assist where I can, but since making that statement this morning, I had a number of people call and say, ‘I’ll be there too’,” she said.
About 100 Health and Community Service Union members walked off the job for a two-hour stoppage yesterday
afternoon after members approved a campaign of wildcat stoppages.
Stoppages will be planned every six hours.
Staff have refused to assist in moving patients into new community care arrangements, scheduled to be completed by the end of November, saying the Government was not providing enough staff for proper care.
Mrs Jackson said she did not consider bringing in workers to be “scab” labour.
“I don’t consider that scab labour at all and if the unions do take that action I’d be most disappointed,” she said. “The people we are talking about need 24-hour care.
“Obviously we have got to have plans to support those people if the staff leave them and walk off the job.”
Mrs Jackson said the move of people into community care would provide an extra $2.1 million in spending on direct client care, more beds in a community setting, an extra 28.5 nurses, additional community-based rehabilitation staff and a new 24-hour crisis assessment team.
“We have negotiated extremely good conditions for the staff, but we are not prepared to go any further on what is already an excellent deal,” she said.
“The union’s campaign has nothing to do with clients, it is all about the unions trying to get more concessions from the Government.”
Mr Hall said HACSU members had been forced to take industrial action in a bid to get the Health Department back into negotiations.
“These members have been caring for these patients for a long time and if it came to a choice between the minister and my members as to who knew what is best for the clients, I know who I would choose,” he said.