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Issue No. 179 23 May 2003  

The Game’s Up
Research into executive pay commissioned by the NSW Labor Council makes explicit what most of us have suspected for some time: the multi-million packages are a rolled gold rort.


Interview: Staying Alive
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell talks about the fight to keep the public service - and the union movement - alive.

Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Wollongong workers on poverty-level wages are losing up to $5000 for taking toilet breaks, according to the union representing staff at a Stellar call centre.

Industrial: Last Drinks
Jim Marr looks at the human cost of the decision to close Sydney’s Carlton United Brewery

National Focus: Around the States
If Tampa told us that John Howard circa 2003 is the same spotted rabid dog from 1987, this week’s assault on Medicare confirms it reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Politics: Radical Surgery
Workers are vitally interested in Medicare, not least because they traded away wage rises to get it. Now, Jim Marr writes, the Coalition Government is tearing apart the 20-year-old social contract on which it was founded.

Education: The Price of Missing Out
University students and their families will pay more for their education following the May Budget, writes Tony Brown.

Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
Love is wonderful the second time around, goes the famous torch song. But is the same true for legislation? Asks Ashley Crossland

History: Massive Attack
Labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa remembers the general strike of 1917 to put the recent anti-war marches into perspective

Culture: What's Right
Neale Towart looks at a new book that looks at the failings of the Left, while reasserting the liberal project

Review: If He Should Fall
Jim Marr caught Irish folk-rock-punk legend Shane MacGowan at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. He was surprised but not disappointed.

Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.

Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to monitor the Iraqi economy to ensure that the reintroduction of looting into the economy conforms with free-market theory.


 War Declared on Mega Salaries

 Poms Prick Golden Parachute

 Picket Breaks Abbott

 Abbott: Unions are Winning

 Hotel Silences Poverty Witness

 We’ve Lost A Lion

 Nurses Refuse to be Shelved

 Boss Picks Porters’ Pockets

 Left, Right Meet at Sea

 ACTU Prescribes Pan Medicine

 Tycoon Tuned Out

 MUA Clout in Wollongong Punch-Up

 Pusey Roams Dark Side

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.

The Toast
Labor Council secretary John Robertson's toast to the annual May Day dinner in Sydney.

The Locker Room
The Numbers Game
In life there is lies, damned lies and sporting statistics, says Phil Doyle - but who’s counting.

Brukman Evicted
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.

The Costs of Excess
Some tall business poppies had their heads lopped this week as the laws of economic gravity applied their always chaotic theory.

 Hard Copy
 Bad Language
 Modern Management Theory
 Tom's Revival
 Off the Rails
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We’ve Lost A Lion

The irony that CPSU National President Matthew Reynolds died the same week he was re-elected - and his ACT government members finally got their long-awaited pay rise – would have, no doubt, appealed to his own mischievous sense of humour.

Matthew Reynolds was a deeply loved and respected part of the CPSU family. A fact confirmed by the hundreds of heartfelt tributes the union has received over the last 48 hours.

These kind words of support for his wife and his family, come from an astonishingly wide spectrum. Former workmates, union officials, employers, senior public servants, politicians, delegates, sporting buddies and rank and file members have all expressed the shock and sorrow we feel.

As CPSU member David Adams from AFFA puts it, "we've lost a lion."

Matthew died as a result of a massive and irreparable brain aneurism. He was only 38. He is survived by his wife Jenny and young children Tayla and Joel.

Matthew is held in great affection and esteem by public servants across Australia as well as in Canberra for his tireless work on their behalf. He always fought individual causes with the same passion that he applied to collective ones.

Though raised in the Catholic tradition, Matthew was no choirboy and he certainly knew how to celebrate his many victories. While he could be a shrewd and tough political operator when it was needed, he will mainly be remembered as a decent trustworthy person with an deep core of human kindness.

Born and raised in Hobart, he grew up in the northern suburbs and attended St Dominic's College.

Tasmanian friends remember him as a keen, if rowdy, Australian Rules football player who thought nothing of sprinting the length of the field to support his team-mates in a melee. He was also an enthusiastic indoor cricket player who became notorious for wearing a unique and ribald Garfield T-shirt whenever he played.

His association with the union began in 1983 in Hobart where he was employed first in the Department of Veterans Affairs and then the Commonwealth Employment Service.

He became an activist in the then Australian Pubic Service Association and rose to be PSU Tasmanian Branch Secretary in 1996.

He made the move to Canberra in 1998 after being elected National President of the merged Community and Public Sector Union. His big smile and slightly rumpled suits quickly became familiar hallmarks of his personal style.

In Canberra he also threw himself into community life and was very proud of his role coaching boys and girls in the Belconnen Junior Australian Rules Football Club's Auskick program on Sunday mornings at Giralang Oval.

Over the last two years, he led a successful campaign re-building the CPSU in the ACT Public Service and delivering long overdue improvements in pay and conditions. During his career he also represented CPSU members in the Professional Division and Food Inspectorial Group.

What should have been a week of election victory celebrations has turned to tragedy for a man who made friends easily and influenced many.

One moving tribute from CPSU former National Deputy President Mal Larsen said, "Mathew was a gentle man who gave space to those around him. He had a cheeky smile that made you want to know what he was thinking about and he had a unique way with words. His care for his people and love of his family were palpable. If there is a heaven, he'll be organising it. Farewell comrade."

More tributes can be found at

The CPSU has set up a Trust fund to provide for the benefit, advancement and education of his children Tayla and Joel. To get involved, contact the CPSU on 1300 137 636 or make a donation at any Westpac Branch.


CPSU as Trustee For Tayla and Joel Reynolds Trust Fund

BSB no: 032 000

Account: 127 155

A funeral service will be held at St Christopher Church in Manuka in the ACT at 2pm on Wednesday 28 May.

(Parts of this obituary originally appeared in an article by Verona Burgess in the 23 May edition of The

Canberra Times).


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