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Issue No. 208 13 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

All The Way With FTA?
Question marks over the bi-lateral Free Trade Agreement with the USA have only begun to scratch the surface.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlov’s Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Worker’s Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALP’s Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australia’s worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Rail Safety Back On Track

 Commuter Headaches Continue

 Ban "Ruthless" Operators - Judge

 Telstra Provokes Jobs Fight

 Taskforce Ignores Million Dollar Rorts

 Musos Tune-Up for Election Rock

 Chubby Fingers in Timorese Pockets

 Postal Workers Wrap Boss

 Aussie Sites Doing the Business

 Feds Abandon Aged

 TAFE Stands Over Poor Students

 Round the World on Aid

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Postcard
Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Sport
Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

L E T T E R S
 Reality TV
 TAFE Support
 State Of Confusion
 Scambuster
 History Lesson
 Generation Angst
 Give Them A Medal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

TAFE Support


On Tuesday 20 January 4,500 employees of the Department of Education & Training and TAFE got letters from the employers which put them in a state of shock. The government is intent on deleting some 1,170 jobs or about 20% of the education support workforce.

These job cuts, if fully implemented, will have a drastic effect on the provision of public education in our schools and TAFE. But then this government don‚t seem very interested continuing the unhindered provision of government funded public education any more.

Many of the lucky minority who got letters appointing them to one of the diminished number of jobs have not been told exactly where they are expected to work, exactly for whom or what the job entails, but supposedly it an unchanged job! The rest are mainly left to compete over the remaining jobs.

The government will say that there are no forced redundancies but as I work in TAFE I know many valued and long term colleagues who are so fed up with this and previous governments‚ treatment of TAFE that they are willing to risk the uncertainty of unemployment rather than the certainty of continual restructuring and further job cuts.

Public Service Association members & delegates are trying to organise a resistence to these drastic job losses.

You can help.

Please send emails of support to: [email protected] or emails of complaint to:

the Minister for Education & Training, Andrew Refshauge, at: [email protected]

Leon Parissi

TAFE worker, union delegate

Please include the email address: [email protected]


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