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Issue No. 201 31 October 2003  

Criminal Logic
It has taken the tragic death of 16-year-old Joel Exner to focus public opinion on laws that allow an employer guilty of killing a worker to get off paying a measly $1800.


Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Rugby League Professionals Association president Tony Butterfield on his battle to deliver a collective agreement for NRL players.

Unions: National Focus
In this month’s national wrap: Noel Hester meets a heavy hitter talking up open source unionism, truckies front the suits at Boral’s AGM, tales of corporate bastardry and Medicare birthday revelry.

Industrial: Fools Gold
Unions have thrashed out a string of protocols with the NSW Labor Government. Some, now, are questioning whether they are worth the cheap, imported paper they are written on, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
Byron Bay chicken boners have nominated thier boss for a Tony after seeing their entitlements plucked.

History: The Gong Show
In late September the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) celebrated 75 unbroken years championing the rights of workers in the coastal Illawarra region 80 kilometres south of Sydney, writes Rowan Cahill.

Politics: The Hawke Legacy
The election of the Hawke Labor government twenty years ago holds some salient lessons for today’s Labor Party, writes Troy Bramston.

International: Sick Nation
As Australia celebrates 20 years of Medicare’s universal health coverage the crisis facing American workers in need of medical care is a useful reminder of what we’ve got – and what we stand, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Closed Minds
Philip Mendes looks at the political influence of right-wing think tanks, their financial backing and asks why the left hasn’t been able to get its ideas out there.

Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
He's had relations, with girls from many nations... but Billy Bragg seems to like us Aussies as much or even more than any of the others, writes Pádraig Collins.

Poetry: One Size Fits All
There once was a man from the Lodge - Who tried hard, our poems, to dodge... Resident bard David Peetz is back!


 It's Official - Life Worth $1800

 Bank Fesses-Up on Robbery

 Corrigan Straddles Robot

 Striking Guards Beat Chubb

 Killer Company Cuts And Runs

 Call Centre Loses Its Sensis

 Greens Set to Bowl Workers’ Homes

 The RSL With No Beer

 Law Rewritten To Get Workers’ Cash

 Pressures Lead To Truckie Deaths

 Soup Kitchen Signals Bleak Future For TAFE

 Art For Workers Sake

 Carr Sweeps Cleaners Off Their Feet

 Activists Notebook


North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Soapbox
The $140 Million Patriot
It would be hard to imagine a steeper slide from hero to zero than the experience of Richard Grasso, the now-deposed head of the New York Stock Exchange. writes Jim Stanford.

Bush's Bad News Blues
The Bush Administration is cooking up a new campaign 'to shine light on progress made in Iraq', writes Bill Berkowitz.

The Locker Room
A Tale Of One City
Phil Doyle gazes into the crystal ball for signs of life, and finds that somewhere the horses are running in the wrong direction.

With Banners Furled
There is no better account of the glory that was the annual Labour Day marches than that given by Kylie Tennant in Foveaux, her fictional account of life in inner Sydney in 1912, the year she was born.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.

The Cancun Wash-Up
The dramatic collapse of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last month has been followed by a deafening quiet from Geneva, Brussels and Washington, writes Peter Murphy.

 Child Labor
 Industrial Manslaughter
 The Miracle Of Tom
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Soup Kitchen Signals Bleak Future For TAFE

Teachers at Moss Vale TAFE Campus held a Soup Kitchen on Tuesday 28 October to "prepare students for the bleak times ahead, due to the impact which the astronomical increases to TAFE fees will have on them next year".

Teachers are taking this action to highlight their concerns that the TAFE fee increases in 2004 will place additional financial burdens upon students. Students will also be required to pay additional hidden charges to cover the cost of amenities and materials.

TAFE students' and teachers' anger culminated in a rally outside State Parliament on Wednesday 29 October.

"Students are angry that the increases in TAFE fees proposed for next year will mean that many of them will be paying triple the amount they have paid this year. A Diploma will cost students from the start of next year $1000. This cost will be higher than that charged in almost any other state in Australia," says Linda Simon, Secretary of the TAFE Teachers Association.

"We are asking Mr Egan to walk a week in our shoes," says Kathryn Peberdy, a student from Seven Hills. "I am currently on Austudy & live off $300.10 each fortnight. I will no longer be able to continue to study."

"Egan needs to slip out of the Versace loafers and slap on some thongs and walk with the people. What might seem like nothing to him is a lot of money to us," says Jessica Mills of Western Sydney Free TAFE.

Fight Goes To Industrial Relations Commission

Meanwhile, the State Council of the Teachers Federation met last weekend to consider progress in the teacher's salary case.

"Teachers are angry that the state government has failed to honour commitments given before and after the last state election. The government is attacking the teaching profession, delaying the salaries case and holding the Industrial Relations Commission to ransom," says NSW Teachers Federation President Ms. Maree O'Halloran. "As a consequence teachers may be forced to take further industrial action this year."

In contrast to the Government, the Catholic Education Commission is not contesting the work value of teachers in a seperate Independent Education Union case.

"In that case the teacher witnesses are not being cross-examined and an Agreed Statement of Facts has been produced about the significant, positive contribution and work value changes by teachers." Says Ms. O'Halloran.


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