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Labor senator Tony Sheldon has slammed Amazon Australia over pay for delivery drivers, following the company’s appearance at the Senate committee on job security he chairs.

The committee heard on Thursday that Amazon Flex delivery drivers are paid a minimum $108 per four-hour block, or $27 per hour, before costs and superannuation, while the average pay for drivers in October was $125 per four-hour block.

Labor senator Karen Grogan took Amazon Australia’s head of government affairs Michael Cooley to task over how this was significantly lower than the total hourly rate for courier owner drivers in Victoria at $40.71.

“We meet or exceed all relevant legal rights for our Amazon Flex delivery partners,” Cooley replied.

“The evidence we have does not support that,” Grogan said.

“That evidence would be incorrect,” Cooley replied.

Cooley said he had not had a chance to review the documents handed to him before the hearing on the Victorian rates of pay, but said the company complied with the law.

Sheldon said Amazon was “distorting the market” for delivery drivers and said Amazon’s rate of pay was being used to undermine job security at other delivery companies such as Star Track and FedEx “in order to compete” with Amazon.

“We don’t accept that,” Cooley replied.

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WA police release audio of the moment they found Cleo Smith

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WA police have still not charged Carnarvon man but likely will ‘later today’

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WA premier says Cleo Smith a ‘delightful little girl’

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Only 0.1% of NSW Health workforce have resigned over vaccine mandate

One of the questions around compulsory vaccination for health workers is the impact the mandate will have on staff numbers, as those who choose not to get vaccinated or refuse to provide proof of vaccination resign or are fired.

While data is still coming through, it is clear the overwhelming majority of health workers are choosing vaccination, so there has been little disruption to the workforce.

In NSW, the data on the departure of health workers due to the mandate is being compiled by NSW Health. Last week a NSW Health spokesperson told me the data was still being gathered, but they now have enough data to provide some detail.

To date, at least 97% of NSW Health’s workforce have received at least one
dose of the vaccine and 94% have received two doses of the vaccine.

The spokesperson said of its entire workforce of more than 140,000 people, just 0.1% (215 people) had resigned due to their vaccination position as of 25 October.

“While any resignation is obviously disappointing, Local Health Districts have management plans in place to limit potential disruptions to service delivery due to staff not being vaccinated,” the spokesperson said.

“All vacancies in the NSW Health workforce are prioritised for recruitment, including any positions arising from staff members refusing a Covid- 19 vaccination.”

A spokesman for Victoria’s department of health told me data on health workforce resignations due to the mandate was not being monitored or collected by the department. I was told I would need to contact every hospital in the state individually for the figures.

Of the hospitals I contacted, only one provided data – the Royal Melbourne hospital. The hospital is down 51 staff who are refusing to be vaccinated against Covid, a requirement to work in Victorian healthcare facilities. This represents just 0.45% of the hospital’s 11,000-strong workforce.

A nurse prepares a Covid vaccine dose at Qudos Bank Arena vaccination clinic in Sydney.

A nurse prepares a Covid vaccine dose at Qudos Bank Arena vaccination clinic in Sydney. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/AAP

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