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Issue No. 185 04 July 2003  

A Recipe for Conflict
Without making any excuses, Tony Abbott�s hand wringing at this week�s airing of a secret video of picket line violence was a bit like watching Don King condemn boxing.


Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
One the movement�s great characters, Public Service Association general secretary Maurie O�Sullivan, is calling it a day. He looks back on his career with Workers Online.

Industrial: Just Doing It
Sportswear giant, Nike, is the first company to sign off on an agreement that purports to protect Australian clothing workers, wherever they labour, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
For a 23-year-old woman who has never worked in the trade, recruiting young construction apprentices into the union has its challenges, reports Carly Knowles.

Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Mal Cochrane came to the smoke as part of an Aboriginal avalanche that redefined the face of Rugby League. Today, he serves his community through the trade union movement.

Bad Boss: In the Pooh
What do you give a boss who makes his workers labour in raw sewage? A nomination for the Tonys.

Unions: National Focus
In the national wrap Noel Hester finds a Victorian Misso delo who is redistributing lucre from Eddie McGuire into workers� theatre, South Australian unions taking that Let�s Get Real stuff seriously, an American unionist fronts up at a distinguished �meeting of the brains� in Adelaide and a look at the line up for ACTU Congress.

Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Dick Bryan wonders if we can be insured against pop economists promising financial nirvana as well as financial market instability.

Technology: Dean for President
Paul Smith looks at how the internet is helping one Democrat candidate to the front of the primary pack

International: Rangoon Rumble
Union Aid Abroad's Marj O'Callaghan looks at Australia's weak response to developments in Burma.

Education: Blackboard Jungle
Lifelong learning shouldn�t mean cutting jobs, but that's exactly what the Carr Government is proposing, argues Tony Brown

Review: From Weakness to Strength
Labor Council crime-fighter Chris Christodoulou catches up with his boyhood hero, the Incredible Hulk

Poetry: Downsized
Resident bard David Peetz pens the song the Industrial Relations Commission needed to hear


 Aussie Workers Cradle-Snatched

 Morris McMahon Workers Say Thanks

 Violence: Emerson Fingers Abbott

 Cowboys Face Contracts Ban

 TUTA Rises From the Ashes

 Teased Teachers Fight Back

 Labor Fails TAFE Test

 Coke Called on to Stop the Rot

 Bridgestone Drops Doughnut on Workers

 AIRC Locked in Dark Ages

 Maternity Breakthrough in Hotels

 Labour Rights: Even Bush is Better!

 Long Winter for Seasonal Workers

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Cleaning Up
Rabbi Laurie Coskey from San Diego adds her voice to the global campaign for just for cleaners in Westfield malls.

The Locker Room
The Name In The Game
In an age of the sportsperson as celebrity it seems that names are overtaking the games, writes Phil Doyle.

The Beach
Southern Thailand�s terrorist activities: facts or fiction asks HT Lee

 A Tribute to Brian Miller
 Orange Peel
 After the Accident
 Cuba - the Debate Continues
 Old Ted
 Greetings from Japan
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Labor Fails TAFE Test

The NSW Government�s $27 million TAFE fee grab is a slap in the face for Labor Party delegates who endorsed pro-education policies, according to teachers.

Teachers Federation spokesman, Phil Bradley, lashed fee hikes unveiled in Treasurer Michael Egan�s latest budget as �unfair and elitist�.

They would, he said, cost tens of thousands of people in NSW the opportunity to further their education, and the greatest impact would be on the most disadvantaged.

Programs such as Outreach, for students with special needs, Career Education and Volunteer Tutoring, he predicted, would be jeopardised.

"Why would you volunteer to tutor if you have to pay fees to do the course?" Bradley asked.

Bradley said the fee regime ran counter to ALP state policy, which called for the abolition of all TAFE fees for "mainstream vocational courses'.

Government boosted fees for some courses by 300 percent and deemed there would be no difference in the scale between students studying a few hours a week and those in fulltime learning.

The Teachers Federation argues that the Government has shifted the burden for underwriting a TAFE education from the community to individual students, whether they can afford it or not.

It argues that less than half the $27.5 million fee windfall would be returned to TAFEs to cover increased operating costs.

The Carr Government's aggressive fee increases are seen as a potential problem for Federal Labor which is trying to make political capital out of escalating HECS debts.

The fee hike further sours relations between the Carr Government and teachers. There was already a stand-off over the increasing reliance on casuals, paid at less than 60 percent the pro rata fulltime rate, to staff TAFEs.

Seven out of 10 TAFE teachers are regarded as part-time casuals, although many have taught regular hours for decades, and they account for 50 percent of classroom hours.

Not only do they lose out on salary but they don't get paid holidays, other entitlements, or have any job security.

The Teachers Federation says TAFE teachers are the only regular teachers in the public or private sectors who are not paid pro rata the fulltime rate.


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