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Issue No. 167 21 February 2003  

Scales of Injustice
The Cole Royal Commissionís final report will be handed to the Howard Government this week, although its public release will be strategically delayed for maximum political capital.


Interview: Agenda 2003
ACTU secretary Greg Combet looks at the year ahead and how a union movement can keep the focus on the workplace at a time of global crisis.

Peace: The Colour Purple
Local communities across Australia are taking stands against war by displaying purple banners. Jim Marr visits one.

Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
As Workers Online took its annual break, the world kept turning Ė at an increasingly alarming velocity.

Solidarity: Workers Against War
Joann Wypijewski reports on how union locals in the USA are fighting the hounds of war at home.

Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
With all the talk of terror, the Howard Governmentís Achilles heel is its tolerance of Flags of Convenience shipping , writes Rowan Cahill

International: Industrial Warfare
Scottish freight train drivers have already acted to disrupt the war effort in the UK with crews of four freight trains carrying war supplies to ports walking off the job, writes Andrew Casey

History: Unions and the Vietnam War
The Vietnam experience steered some unions towards social activism for the first time. Unions are today key players in the anti-war movement, writes Tony Duras.

Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Mark Hebblewhites looks at two summer movies that tap into different sounds of American culture - white boy rap and motown blues.

Poetry: Return To Sender
Resident bard Divd Peetz discovers that Elvis has become the latest shock recruit to the peace cause.

Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
CIA Director George Tenet announced today that the agency has begun recruiting future enemies for the year 2014.


 Cole Commission: The Rort Goes On

 Penalty Rates Under Attack

 Abbott Brushes Ripped Off Aussies

 Overworked Seamanís Painful Hangover

 Australia Snubs International Body

 Women Attracted to Unions

 Murdoch Hacks Dropping Like Flies

 Peace is Union Business

 Qantas Takes Big Stick to Cabin Crew

 Sheltered Workshop in Orange Squeeze

 Carr Govt Commits $13m To Safety

 Monk Puts IR in Test Tube

 Concreters Bury Six-Day Week

 Graincorp Boss in Cyber War

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Getting On with The Job
Premier Bob Carr chose Trades Hall as the venue to launch Labor's IR policy for the upcoming state election.

Justice in Bogota
Sydney lawyer Ian Latham knows how to pick them. Heís gone straight from the Cole Royal Commission to justice Colombian-style.

The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
There is a school of thought that there is, in fact, only one World Cup - and it doesnít involve cricket, writes Phil Doyle.

Danger Mouse
John Howard's politics have trapped him into supporting an unpopular war. He is in political trouble, Leonie Bronstein argues.

 This Means War
 Who Let The Troops Out?
 Wagga Wagga Calling
 Ode to Johnny
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Monk Puts IR in Test Tube

Australia's research capacity will be the loser from any Federal Government plan to force academics onto individual contracts in return for research funding.

National Tertiary Education Union President Dr Carolyn Allport says that forcing academics to sign Australian Workplace Agreements in return for research funding makes a complete mockery of the idea of research grants being based on academic merit.

The Union's warning is in response to a report in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald that says as part of its higher education reform package, expected to be released in the next few months, the Government is planning to force academic staff to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement in return for government research funding.

"Linking research to individual contracts would be nothing but an underhand and tricky means of lowering the working conditions of Australian university staff," said Dr Allport. "Australian Workplace Agreements provide inferior conditions of employment for academic staff, precisely the reason why previous attempts by the government to introduce them in universities have failed".

"If it is true that this reform is on the table, not only will it create great confusion but it will increase the movement of researchers offshore, directly contradicting the Federal Government's stated aim of trying to attract back Australian researchers who are working overseas," said Dr Allport.

The Sydney Morning Herald also claims the Government is preparing to amend laws to make it a breach of the national interest for academic staff at the nation's 38 public universities to go on strike, by making universities suppliers of essential services under the Workplace Relations Act.

"Amending laws to make it a breach of the national interest for academic staff to strike would be an undemocratic and completely over the top response from the Government that will get little support from staff or students at Australian universities," said Dr Allport.

"If the Federal Government is planning to introduce these measures as part of its higher education reform package, due to be released in the next few months, it will be a recipe for disorder and confrontation in the higher education sector."

"The Government will put the NTEU in a position where it will have no choice but to exercise all the legal and industrial avenues available to it to fight the introduction of these measures."


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