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Issue No. 163 29 November 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

Lessons from History
History has a seemingly infinite capacity to create and debunk myths, as the latest offering from the Journal of Labour and Social History shows.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trade Secrets
Federal Labor’s trade spokesman Craig Emerson is on a mission to bring the shady world of trade talks into the open

Industrial: It’s About Overtime, Stupid
An overtime free-for-all is at the heart of Australia’s hours explosion and it's time to look at a cap on hours, reports Noel Hester from the ACTU’s Working Hours Summit.

Unions: Full Steam Ahead
After two weeks of rallies around the state, rural Rail Towns are making a stand for jobs and safety. Jim Marr reports.

Bad Boss: The BBQ Battle Axe
Manly restaurateur, David Diamond, is a shoo-in for this month’s Bad Boss nomination, leaving Workers Online looking for a good employer who can undo some of his damage.

Economics: Different Dimensions of Debt
Professor Frank Stilwell presented the big picture on debt policy at the Evatt Foundation’s Breakfast Seminar

History: Raking the Coals
Labour historians Rae Cooper and Greg Patmore explain why today’s organisers have much to learn from the lessons of the past.

History Special: Wherever the Necessity Exists
Rae Cooper tracks NSW union organising between 1900-1910 to argue that today’s activists should be looking closer to home for inspiration

History Special: Learning from the Past
Ray Markey looks at union membership growth in the 1880s & 1900s to argue that today’s unions must engage to grow.

History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Barbara Webster looks at Rockhampton between 1916 – 1957 to debunk the ‘dependence’ theory of trade union growth.

Politics: Regime Change for Saddam
Labour lawyer Jim Nolan looks at the challenge for the Left in the current geopolitical stand-off in the Middle East.

International: World War
Europe has suddenly come aflame with industrial action, Andrew Casey reports.

Corporate: Industrious Thinking
Neale Towart looks at the influence of German immigration on Australian industry policy in the post-war period.

Review: Jack High
Mick Molloy’s new flick Crackerjack tells the tale of a traditional bowling club struggling to stay afloat in an industry dominated by pokies, pokies and more pokies, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Culture: Duffy’s Song
Former Labor Council official Mark Duffy’s Sydney super band Sundial clocks in a bit of a corker.

Satire: A Nation of Sooks
The Strewth Institute's Tony Moore looks at the spate of defo suits and wonders if Australia has gone soft.

Poetry: Mr Flexibility
One of the key challenges facing unions, as the ACTU celebrates its 75th anniversary, is confronting the problems of increasing working hours and work intensity under the guise of "flexibility". Our resident bard, David Peetz, takes up that theme this week.

N E W S

 And On the Seventh Day – Satan Joins Union

 Security Masks Political Bans

 Members Offered Spotters' Fee

 Casuals Written Out of the Script

 New Mining Bully On the Block

 ACTU Examines The Cap Option On Hours

 No Sweetener for Diabetic Workers

 Pressure Goes on Apartheid Employers

 ASIC Turns Blind Eye on Dodgy Boss

 Family Test Case a Priority Campaign

 Echoes of Prestige Hit Home

 Brutal Bashing Sparks Prison Strike

 Minister Challenged by Cleaners

 ABC Journos Off The Air

 Union Says RSCPA "Kills"...

 Guards Demand Campus Security

 Uni Backs Down On Regional Review

 Peace Returns to US Docks

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Economic Migrants
A man - a worker - risks death by machine gun to escape what he is told is a 'workers' state'. He flees East Berlin through a tunnel, dug beneath a cemetery.

Awards
And the Winner Is …
It’s that time of the year when we honour the best. In the past week, both the IR Writers fraternity and ACTU have got in the act with more to come.

The Locker Room
More Post-Colonial Madness
Phil Doyle joins the fools and Englishmen out in the midday sun, and finds that it all comes at a price.

Bosswatch
Call Waiting
The Howard Government backs off its plans to privatise the rest of Telstra under market pressure. But it’s nothing like the pressure that former HIH directors are under.

Month In Review
Way Down
As Elvis might have said, if he had had a longer-term perspective “ooh, what a month it was, it really was such a month …”

L E T T E R S
 Oh Bugger Me!
 State Based Organising
 Gino on the Gong
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Casuals Written Out of the Script


Teachers in the state’s prisons have arrested spiralling rates of casualisation by writing the casual classification out of the award.

After casual numbers reached a staggering 70 per cent in prisons, the NSW Teachers Federation and the Department of Corrective Services agreed all teachers would be employed on a permanent basis.

Teachers Federation's Phil Bradley says the agreement is a significant step in turning back the tide on casualisation of the profession.

He says it's also an important step forward in fighting recidivism, with many inmates lacking the basic numeracy and literacy skills.

Despite the breakthrough, the Teachers Federation is continuing to lobby for increased teaching numbers in the state's prisons, where the prison population has grown considerably under the Carr Government.

"It costs $100,000 to keep an inmate in jail for a year," Bradley says. "This is twice what is spent on a teacher working within the prison sector."

"Every dollar in the education system leads to a savings of $7 in tems of the total social cost to the system."

The award victory is part of a broad push to arrest increasing casual and part-time levels in the TAFE system.

At present 55 per cent of all teaching hours in TAFE are taught by part-time teachers. The Federation is aiming to reduce this so that 70 per cent of teaching hours are provided by permanent teachers and only 30 per cent by part-time teachers.

Watkins Commits to No HECS on TAFE

Meanwhile, NSW Education Minister John Watkins has addressed the Labor Council of NSW vowing to oppose the introduction of HECS fees on students in the TAFE system.

Warning that a Brogden Government would see a return to the policies of the Metherell Era, Watkins restated his open-door policy to the trade union movement and commitment to work cooperatively.

He also outlined a new high level tripartite forum on training to fill the gap left by the federal government's decision to cut funding to the ITAB system and promised to address concerns about the status of support staff in the school system.


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