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Issue No. 195 12 September 2003  

Coalition of the Swilling
As the world stopped to mark the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks and its horrendous human toll, attempts at writing new rules for global trade were hitting their own immovable object


Interview: Crowded Lives
Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner talks us through his new book on the importance of relationships and why politics is letting the people down.

Activists: Life With Brian
Work by men like Brian Fitzpatrick is exposing new Australians to old truths. Jim Marr reports

Industrial: National Focus
A showdown looms in Cancun, Qantas gets bolshie, casual and lazy in its response to aviation challenges, and long festering disputes fester on in Victoria and Tasmania reports Noel Hester in this national wrap.

Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Trades Hall is preparing for a major facelift but first, Jim Marr reports, it must bid farewell to the colourful bunch who have populated its dusty corridors in recent years.

Economics: Beating the Bastards
Frank Stilwell looks at some of the proposals for building a fairer finance sector.

Media: Three Corners
So its come to this. Four Corners, one of the world's longest running television programs is now under pressure from an ABC Executive that is less cultural visionary than feral abacus.

History: The Brisbane Line
Percy Spender was Menzies' foreign minister, but, Neale Towart asks, was he also prepared to serve as Prime Minister in a Japanese controlled Australia?

Trade: The Dumping Problem
Oxfam-CAA helps set the scene for this month's World Trade Organisation in Cancun.

Review: Frankie's Way
In The Night We Called It A Day Frank Sinatra learns 'sorry' Down Under is a loaded word and refusal to say it when due will lose fans in important places, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Teachers Attack National Stitch-Up

 Safety Off The Rails

 Lion King Delivers for Kids

 Five Grand Extra for Unionists

 Telstra Gets Curry for Take Aways

 WTO Trips on Cancun Hurdle

 Workers Kicking Goals

 Dial NRMA for Stuff-Up

 This Is Your Operator Freaking

 Millionaire Takes Candy from Carers

 Working Women Get New Voice

 Community Burns Rubber Giant

 Grass Roots Campaign Beats Bush

 Unions-Council Strike ‘Clean Hands’ Partnership

 Call For Campaign To Save Bush Trains

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Staking Our Territory
ACTU secretary Greg Combet argued for a fairer Australia in his keynote address to last month's ACTU Congress.

The Locker Room
Seasonally Agisted
Spring is a season when a person’s thoughts turn to…horse racing. Phil Doyle reports on the fate of nags and folk heroes.

Beyond the Block
We are wild about the people who live in The Block but not too interested in those who are on the streets outside, writes Michael Rafferty.

The Westie Wing
Workers friend Ian West MLC, reports form the Bearpit about a project to raise awareness about trade unionism amongst young people.

The Awkward Squad
Paul Smith meets one of the new generation of British union leaders who is taking the ball up to the Blair spin team.

 Life Wasn’t Meant To Be Frankie
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Teachers Attack National Stitch-Up

Historic strike action across three states will target Labor Government Treasurers accused of colluding to keep wages down in the face of a national teacher shortage.

The action, which comes as teachers in NSW commence a case for a 25 per cent wage rise, was sparked by the recent meeting of state Treasurers where a plan to limit pay rises for all public sector workers was mapped out.

Teachers in NSW, Victorian and West Australia have coordinated the 24-hour stoppages for Wednesday, with colleagues taking protest action in other states, as part of the Australian Education Union's efforts to make education a top-level national priority.

In another national first, joint meetings will be held along the Victorian and NSW border.

AEU Federal President Pat Byrne says the action by state and territory governments is simply unacceptable, particularly when the Australian education system is currently in the midst of teacher shortage crisis.

"As a result of the lack of financial and professional incentives provided by state and territory governments, up to 50% of new teachers are on record as saying they do not intend to be teaching within 10 years," Byrne says.

"By 2005, Deans of Education estimate that there will be a shortage of 5,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools," she says. "By the end of the decade, the Education Ministers' research shows that this shortage will have increased to at least 20,000."

NSW Teachers Federation president Maree O'Halloran says the national action is unprecedented - and is an important wake-up call to the en tire nation.

"It's totally irresponsible of the state governments to be meeting and colluding to hold down real wage growth of teachers at the very time when they should be working out ways to make the profession grow," O'Halloran says

"It is absolutely outrageous that we have been told that if we get more three per cent per year they are threatening to punish our students by cutting the public education budget.

TAFE Teachers Get In On Act

Meanwhile, TAFE teachers have voted unanimously for industrial action of at least 24 hours, early in Term 4, if the Carr government does not halt its attacks on TAFE.

NSW TAFE Teachers Association secretary Linda Simon says teachers are concerned about the effects that increased TAFE fees will have next year in pricing qualifications needed to enter the workforce beyond the reach of many young people.

The teachers also noted with increasing concern the results of the survey conducted by the NSW Council for Adult Literacy and Numeracy that showed that 37% of those currently in such courses would not be able to continue studies to improve basic skills levels.

"Council is angry that the Carr Labor government does not value the great TAFE system in this state, and continues to undermine TAFE by cutting budgets, and proposing a restructure that attacks the integrity of TAFE," Simon says.

"TAFE teachers are passionate about the education and training they provide for a wide variety of students, and will not allow this education to be undermined. If this means that we have to strike to highlight our determination, then we will do so."


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