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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"We just want to be tea ladies."

Jobless tea ladies Colleen Wallis, Zenobia Pavri, Yvonne Carter, Liz
Davenport and Karen Allsop are the first victims of the Australian
government's cost-cutting measures.

Perth, Dec 2008 The State Government has begun sacking its most vulnerable staff as part of its 3 per cent efficiency drive - starting with tea ladies. They will be replaced by machines.

While tea ladies are being sacrificed to help meet State Government budget objectives, fat-cat executives are on contracts that enable them to earn up to $480,000 a year - and seven others can be paid up to $420,000.

Staff were informed by internal email that the tea service was being axed and that alternative facilities would be installed.

Staff have reacted by circulating petitions where the women work in an attempt to save their jobs.

Addressed to "The Executive'', they list nine reasons to reinstate the tea service, including greater productivity and improved workplace morale.

All seven tea ladies have lost their jobs.

Their employer said it would help find them alternative work inside or outside the department, but the tea ladies are afraid any potential offerings would not suit their age or skills.

They have given the DCP almost 50 years service between them.

Tea attendants supervisor Liz Davenport, 63, said: "We just want to be tea ladies. We have been doing this for years and we are like family to everyone in that building. This has come as a great shock - it's the end of an era..."

Read the full story here.

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