May Day rally turn out shows concerns about regional job cuts

RALLYING CRY: Some of the doctors, teachers and other workers who attended Orange’s May Day rally yesterday to raise concerns about the erosion of jobs and working conditions, and planned federal government cutbacks.Photo: STEVE GOSCH     0504sgmay

RALLYING CRY: Some of the doctors, teachers and other workers who attended Orange’s May Day rally yesterday to raise concerns about the erosion of jobs and working conditions, and planned federal government cutbacks.Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0504sgmay

NURSES, teachers, manufacturing workers and public servants cheered and clapped during the opening address of Orange’s May Day rally on Sunday when Central West Community Union Alliance co-convenor Gregson Edwards called for the federal government to protect workers with job security and better working conditions.

Organisers of the rally had to  do away with the traditional march  down Summer Street due to the poor weather conditions, instead heading straight to the rally meeting venue at Kelly’s Hotel.

“We had about 60 people and plenty of new faces, which is great considering the weather conditions,” said rally co-convenor Bernard Fitzsimon.

Mr Fitzsimon said there was a growing groundswell of discontent over cuts by the Abbott government flagged in the lead-up to next week’s federal budget.

“People are really aggro. They are concerned about the debt levy, pension changes and cuts to education and health jobs,” he said.

Public Service Association senior vice president Cassandra Coleman said Calare had lost out, with government cuts to jobs and services since the Liberals came to power.

“Three-hundred-and-fifty positions have just gone and it has sent a ripple across the community,” she said.

“This includes 218 support teaching staff who have been let go and 50 family and community services positions in Bathurst, as well as DPI staff from Orange,” she said.

Labor party candidate in the last federal election Dr Jess Jennings says he fears cuts to Medicare Local, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and an unaffordable paid parental leave scheme, as well as budget cuts, will send shockwaves through the community.

janice.harris@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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