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Issue No. 196 19 September 2003  

A Secret Country
So Tony Abbott has tabled his legislation to crush the CFMEU, while refusing to release the secret volume of the Royal Commission on which the recommendations are based.


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.


 Cole Skeletons Shake Monk

 Abbott Flags Move On Nurses

 Workplace Bullies Leave Three Dead

 People’s Bank Scraps People

 Left-Right Combo Drops Motorway Boss

 Free Wally - Movie Offer

 Detention for Minister Who Praised Scabs

 Cancun Flop Spurs Local Stars

 Public Sector: Cuts and Thrusts

 Medicare Cuts Take Cake

 Beating Around The Bush

 Other Half Lives It Up

 Anderson Ducks Mudgee Bill

 Deaf, Blind and Looking For Friends

 Filipino Vote Call

 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.

 Freedom from Choice
 Free Art
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Public Sector: Cuts and Thrusts

NSW Public Servants are pushing for pay rises of 25 per cent in the face of moves by the government to slash public sector jobs.

Jobs ranging from the Anti-Discrimination Board to the Zoo face the axe under savage cuts that are expected to have a big impact on the community, especially in regional NSW. "We've let the government know that public servants deserve a pay rise just as much as teachers do," says NSW Public Service Association (PSA) acting general secretary John Cahill. The news comes amidst allegations from public sector sources that TAFE alone has spent in excess of $40 million on labour hire style casual employment. in the last 12 months "We're looking for the government to convert these positions to proper permanent public sector jobs,' says Cahill of the explosion in the use of temps and labour hire workers in public sector agencies and government departments. Rally Against Service Cuts And Job Losses The PSA will be rallying at 12.30pm on Wednesday September 24 at farrer place in Sydney, outside the head office of the Education Department and Governor Macquarie Tower that houses most NSW Government ministers. Workers at The Department of Education and Training and TAFE proposed the rally following the announcement that over 1000 jobs were on the line amidst sharp increases in TAFE fees. Other cutbacks include:

  • thirty jobs at the Australian Museum (approximately 10% of all staff at the museum); 25% of all jobs at the Industrial Relations Office;
  • a 1.8% cut in costs at the Department of Commerce;
  • mergers of Area Health Services and Health Department corporate services that are expected to lead to substantial job losses;
  • non-custodial positions at Corrective Services to go and cuts to conditions;
  • 75 regional jobs to be transferred from the Department of Agriculture;
  • Business Link jobs to go.
The last three cuts are expected to have a considerable impact upon regional jobs. "An effective public sector is crucial in promoting a fair and equitable society. Without public sector agencies being fully staffed and fully funded public services only becoming more inaccessible and remote from ordinary people," says Cahill. Another state government agency facing cuts is the Anti-Discrimination Board, where up to half of all jobs at the board are set for the axe. Cahill questioned what message cuts to the work of the Anti-Discrimination Board sent to employers in NSW.


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