Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Naughty nurses (well, nurses' unions)

(I WISH this story was going along those lines...)

Well, naughty in the sense of embezzling money to fund after-school soccer activities. Then this story warrants such a headline!

From the shore of Australia, we find this wonderful gem:

"NURSES have demanded their union chief resign after the union sponsored his daughter's soccer team with funds from their membership fees.

The NSW Nurses' Association donated $5000 to the Hills District Women's Football Club, which has the Beaumont Hills Lady Hawks in its ranks. One of the team's star strikers is the daughter of Brett Holmes, the association's general secretary.

The sponsorship deal was funded from the Nurse Power Fund - a financial reserve raised through member contributions."

Oops. Now I'm all for parents supporting the extra-curricular activities of their children, but surely this goes a bit too far?

Understandably, the nurses are pissed:

"RPA emergency nurse Cate Cunningham said nurses felt "disillusionment and disgust".

"When we heard at Thursday's branch meeting our fighting fund money was being used to sponsor a women's football team we were speechless. Then on Friday, news filtered through that it was Brett Holmes's daughter's team," she said. "I can't tell you how angry and upset we all are. This has never been reported to members."

Mrs Cunningham said the branch meeting had been held to address the union's willingness to fritter away valuable workplace entitlements in exchange for a "pissant pay increase" of 7.8 per cent over two years.

"We were all sitting there, wondering how on earth our union could have left us in such a mess … then it was casually mentioned a women's football team had been kitted out with cash deducted from our own wages," she said.

The sponsorship was approved at the association's council meeting on November 29. The successful motion read: "The NSWNA contributes $5000 in sponsorship to the Hills District (Female) Football Club for the 2008 year from the Nurse Power Fund."

The message here is simple: don't join unions. That 5-minute addition to your lunchbreak is definitely nice, but it gets ugly when you suddenly find your dues paying for knee-high polyester socks and half-time oranges.

Perhaps the best quote was saved for last, from the guilty party himself, chairman Brett Holmes. When quoted that he was going to defend the $5000 outlay, he had this beauty:

"We have a turnover of $24 million. We can't go to our members about every dollar spent."
Indeed Mr. Holmes, indeed. Good luck with finding a new job... hopefully there's some money to be made in the selling of 2nd-hand football equipment until an HR executive comes-a-knocking.


Precious Roy said...

Did this happen in Canberra? Or in New South Wales?

If it's the former, then Mr. Holmes might try porn because in addition to being the capital of Oz, Canberra is also the porn capital of Oz.

Lingering Bursitis said...

This was in NSW, I believe.