Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I do not agree with the draconian changes to the Industrial Relations Legislation about to be enacted by the Federal Coalition.

But perhaps those workers threatened with loss of four weeks annual leave ‘rights’ might spare a moment for those of us one million plus full time family Carers who are on duty twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, year after year, decade after decade, with no adequate respite, far less a real holiday, free from care.

We have no Industrial Relations Act to protect us and no rights to the basic human rights workers expect and deserve. We have no Penalty Rates, no Sick Leave, no Superannuation, no Workers Compensation and no retraining if we are injured. We just keep on going because we have made the only choice available to decent human beings, and that is to love and care for our loved one.

If we are still standing at the end of our caring, we will endure dreadful grief, because of the intimacy of our role and the understanding and compassion that brings. We will be left untrained, old, often unwell, often poor, often uneducated, and after usually lifetime of incredible levels of responsibility and heartache we will find ourselves needing care but without any decent resources to access it for ourselves.

So with all the justified protesting by Unions and workers, please remember us when you are facing just one slither of our reality. Please Union officials, Union Members, paid workers, politicians – please remember us.

We are the glue which holds a civilised compassionate society together and you have all neglected us for far too long. You have allowed a triple, or is it quadruple layer of paid advocates in organisations to siphon off any funds which might have been meant to dribble our way. Advocates who all have penalty rates, sick leave, super and workers compensation. Maybe many of them are out there on the streets dear darlings that they are protesting alongside you all.

We, the one million plus of us, realise that it is easier, more convenient for you to forget we exist, even though our hard work, endless as it is saves the country well in excess of $25billion per annum.

If you have any conscience at all we ask you to please unfurl a banner or two for us in your marches. We are unable to march because we are on duty full time, and we would never strike because those we love would suffer.

Think about what you are facing now and try to begin to comprehend what we have endured for decades with no outcry from the community, no outcry from the Unions, no outcry from the politicians, and little real coverage by the media apart from some syrup.

Think and then give us your support too because, ‘there but for the Grace of God go all of you Workers, Employers, Union Officials, Bureaucrats and Politicians.

No one is immune for our plight, but pretending we are invisible is shameful.

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