Steve Bracks has kept up his efforts to govern for all Victorians who are publicly listed on the stock exchange this week, with a no-brainer effort to outdo the Prime Miniature in beating up on working people.
The Premier seems to have bucketloads of cash to prop up the world's biggest Scaletrix set in Albert Park in order to please great Labor folk like Lloyd Williams.
He also seems to have a talent in sitting on his hands while the private sector does its usual shabby job with public transport.
Money also appears to be no object if the private sector needs a few coppers to throw their weight around on a picket line.
But when it comes to peripheral things like paying teachers and nurses a decent wage, looking after the most vulnerable people in society, or improving safety in Victoria's privately ravaged Electricity sector, Slippery Steve is suddenly cries poor.
What's he trying to prove? That he's some 'reliable' economic manager? This is the man who can't even fund his superannuation liabilities but can throw cash at every showman who has a carnival to bring to town.
"We pride ourselves on being the state which has the majority of the major events around the country," the Quiff With Attitude told the ACTU Congress last year. "I hope you get some time and space to do your job on behalf of working families around Australia."
Well, they would if bottom feeders like Bracks had a principled Labor bone in their bodies, instead of joining the conga-line to keep the top end of Collins Street happy.
Steve went on to piss in the pockets of delegates, telling them what a great thing it was that the Union movement had gone on to form the Australian Labor Party.
This amazing revelation still doesn't explain how 'Labor' leaders like Bracks seem to think they have carte blanche to sink the boot into working people while their representatives are supposed to lie back and think of England.
The clown has form. In 2001 Bracks, in a stunning display of social responsibility and maturity, directed ministers Ms Mary Delahunty (that great servant of the working poor) and the current minister for Re-education, Lynne Kosky not to meet with teachers unions.
Steve Bracks is the one in need of education. His latest sad efforts in trying to outdo Peter Reith in painting the union movement as the source of all evil show a particularly insecure streak. Maybe it's time he stopped trying to spit the dummy about the very real concerns of very real people and concentrated his efforts on actually delivering for working Victorians instead of just a few narrow economists.
The man with the styrofoam smile can spend his time in the Tool Shed writing out a hundred times: "The Labor party is there to help working people, not just the big end of town".
Union secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said the Taskforce, headed by controversial former federal police officer Nigel Hadgkiss, had been "disgraced" by criticisms leveled by Judge Hughes in the NSW District Court.
The judge found there had been an "element of provocation" by the Taskforce in events at Sutherland Hospital during October, 2002, and was highly critical of one of its inspectors, Greg Alfred, who gave sworn evidence, then changed his testimony after being contradicted by a company witness.
The judge said he hadn't seen anything like Alfred's performance in his six years on the bench.
Further, Judge Hughes said, if the Workplace Relations Act had allowed it he would have awarded costs in favour of CFMEU organiser, Joe Brcic, who had been personally targeted by the prosecution.
In October, 2002, the Taskforce set up by recommendation of Building Industry Royal CommissionerTerence Cole, rushed five inspectors to Sutherland Hospital after workers went home because water had been cut off to the site.
The Court heard evidence that the head contractor had agreed, at the time, it had been a legitimate health and safety issue. However, evidence suggested, as a result of Taskforce pressure the company changed its stance and refused to pay workers who, angered, had then struck over enterprise bargaining claims.
Judge Hughes found the CFMEU had failed to give proper notice of that action, under requirements of the Workplace Relations Act, and fined the union $2000. He dismissed the other 35 counts.
The omnibus nature of these Taskforce actions has become a problem for building industry unions who say the Federal Government-appointed Taskforce is trying to ruin them by throwing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into "dubious" prosecutions.
In the Sutherland Hospital case, for example, CFMEU industrial officer, Sean Marshall, conceded before the Industrial Relations Commission 16 months ago that it had committed a technical breach of the law.
"It was the only one of 36 charges that was upheld and we conceded it more than a year ago," Marshall told Workers Online. "Joe Brcic is one of our youngest organisers and he made an honest administrative mistake.
"But they spent maybe $60,000 taxpayer dollars on pursuing 35 charges that have been thrown out. We have limitations on our resources but they don't seem to have any."
Legal sources suggest running these defences, alone, might have cost the union $30,000.
They point out that the nature of the Workplace Relations Act allows one event to to be translated into dozens of counts, each carrying hefty penalties. In this instance, for example, the stoppage at Sutherland Hospital on October 14, 2002, affected the head contractor and 15 sub-contractors.
As a result, the Taskforce, laid 16 counts, each carrying the potential for a $10,000 penalty. It had originally racked up 49 charges out of the Sutherland Hospital dispute, leaving the CFMEU facing the possibility of $490,000 in fines.
Ferguson said the dismissal of all charges against Brcic would give building workers confidence union organisers could still fight for their rights, despite hurdles placed in their way by the Coalition Government and its Taskforce.
Meanwhile, ALP leader Mark Latham slammed the Cole Royal Commission and the Building Industry Taskforce during a question and answer session with rank and file building workers in Sydney, last Friday.
"How can the Federal Government spend tens of millions of dollars on a vindictive campaign against working people when there aren't enough bulk
billing doctors?" Latham said to the meeting of CFMEU Delegates.
The Federal opposition leader said a Labor government would abolish AWAs and strengthen the Industrial Relations Commission. He also "fully supported" the CFMEU's campaign for industrial manslaughter legislation.
Latham told delegates of his long-standing relationship with CFMEU assistant secretary, Brian "Sparkles" Parker, recalling the days when they collected glasses together as workmates at the Green Valley Hotel.
North Coast TAFE is applying the five-figure slug to pay for positions additional to those funded by the state government, according to the NSW Teachers Federation.
The $10 000, one-year courses are the latest in a line of fee hikes faced by TAFE students.
"The ALP Government is ignoring its own policy platform on this issue," says Phil Bradley from the NSW Teachers Federation. "We will continue to fight this campaign on behalf of TAFE students and our members whose jobs are threatened because of these cutbacks."
Bradley points out that many 'high-demand' trade courses will face this sort of 'fee for service' provision.
Industrial action by TAFE teachers to protest the rise in TAFE fees is scheduled for March 10. A number of rallies are scheduled on March 10 to protest fee hikes.
The TAFE 'Big Day Out' starts from 10.30am in Farrer Place, off Bent Street in Sydney with a march on Parliament House scheduled. Other allies are set down for Wollongong, Newcastle, Lismore, Port Macquarie, Orange, Albury and Wagga.
Gaol Teachers Strike
Meanwhile Long Bay gaol teachers stopped work in protest of the State Government's refusal to pass on the 5.5% interim increase awarded to Department of Education and Training teachers.
"Education and training contributes to inmates' more successful integration into the community upon release," says Kevin Sheppard, Secretary of the Corrective Services Teachers Association. "Teachers are disappointed and feel undervalued by the Government's refusal to recognise our contribution to improving inmates' education and vocational skills."
Other stop work meetings were held at other NSW prisons last week, including Mannus Correctional, Long Bay Correctional, Goulburn Correctional Centre and Lithgow Correctional Centre
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has slammed Australian Trucking Association proposals for greater flexibility and the right to carry heavier loads, in return for the voluntary installation of GPS tracking devices.
"If the ATA's proposals are implemented things will only get worse," says Tony Sheldon NSW Transport Worker's Union secretary. "The only winners will be industry clients, while drivers and their families will come under even more pressure."
Sheldon said truck drivers were currently forced to adopt unsafe and unsustainable work practices as a result of unrealistic deadlines and unsustainable rates.
"Drivers will be forced to even greater extremes and, without a substantial increase in rates, few would be in a position to put GPS devices in their vehicles," he said. "The only way to really reduce the number of people killed on our roads is to shift the focus of the enforcement regime away from drivers and towards the clients of the industry who really control things"
Two drivers died on the Great Western Highway in one 24-hour period, last week; one in a horrific chemical accident that closed the main road through the Blue Mountains.
The TWU is calling on both State and Federal Governments to immediately implement the proposals of the NSW Government's Quinlan Report into long haul trucking, including an enforceable chain of responsibility, compulsory safety code of conduct and sustainable minimum rates for drivers.
"Consecutive Government reports and enquiries have recognized this, and still the ATA is content to tinker around the edges," says Sheldon. "Tinkering in transport costs lives."
"These blokes don’t expect Randwick rates, but the gap at the moment is bigger than Bass Strait," AWU secretary, Bill Shorten said.
"We met the Tamanian Thoroughbred Racing Council last week. We gave them four weeks to respond to our claims and haven't ruled anything out after that.'"
All 18 professional riders on the Apple Isle have thrown in their lot with the union. Their position was outlined at a media conference, after discussions with the Council, by the state's leading rider, Stephen Maskiell.
Tasmanian jockeys are the only ones in Australia required to pay their own Workers Compensation Insurance and they receive between 30 and 50 percent less than NSW and Victorian colleagues for riding in barrier trials, track work and jumps races.
Shorten said racing officials in Tasmania should consider the future of their sport.
"Jockeys are leaving Tasmania and heading for the mainland. Our information suggests that unless a reasonable deal is struck, there will only be four or five professional jockeys riding fulltime in the state."
CFMEU forestry division secretary, Craig Smith, confimed privatisation was a "definite threat" after state government handed investment bankers ABN Amro the task of examining "options" for the future management of publicly-owned forests.
The CFMEU, PSA and AWU have formed a forest workers alliance in response to the government's move and will take their concerns to regional towns dependent on softwood processing.
Industry analysts say it would be extraordinarily difficult to win political support for the privatisation, or corporatisation, of native hardwood forests but the same conservation factors would not come into play with the 290,000 hectares of pine under state management.
"Government hasn't said it favours privatisation but it is adamant - the status quo is not an option, there will be change," Smith said.
"We know the history of privatisation on jobs and communities. "There are many issues that make privatisation look commercially silly but our argument is a principled one about the retention of public assets.
"Is this a Labor Government we are dealing with or not?"
The CFMEU has already held meetings with members in affected timber towns to discuss the issues.
The ‘Play Fair’ campaign, spearheaded by Oxfam and Global Unions, calls on the International Olympic Committee to force sportswear companies such as Fila, Puma, Umbro, Asics and Mizuno to clean up their acts.
The report, released this week, finds that the giant sportswear brands are violating the rights of millions of workers around the world in order to fill shops with the latest and cheapest sports shoes, clothes and accessories in time for the Athens Olympic Games.
It exposes the ruthless tactics used by the sportswear industry to produce the latest fashions, cheaper and faster and to ever more punishing deadlines.
In order to deliver, suppliers are forcing employees to work longer and harder, denying them their fundamental workers' rights.
Play Fair researchers spoke to workers such as Phan from Thailand and Fatima who works in an Indonesian factory that supplies Fila, Puma, Nike, Adidas and Lotto:
"We do not feel we can demand higher wages, welfare and legal status," said Phan. "If I don't complete my daily target within regular work hours I have to work overtime without pay... I don't feel that I have job security..." said Fatima.
"The sportswear industry is spending heavily on marketing in the run up to this year's Olympic Games which is supposed to be a showcase for fairness and human achievement," ICFTU general secretary Guy Ryder says.
"But the exploitation and abuse of workers' rights endemic in the industry is violating that Olympic spirit."
Play Fair draws on the testimony of workers and factory managers in Bulgaria, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Turkey. These findings show that:
o Companies' promises to behave responsibly are often superficial and lacking in credibility, and are ignored by company buying teams who use cut-throat tactics to reach their targets;
o Factory managers are failing to meet the high-pressure demands from companies and comply with rules on respecting labor standards at the same time;
o The industry is therefore undermining the very labor standards it claims to uphold; some factories falsify records routinely in order to pass inspection and there is plentiful evidence of workers enduring abusive and exploitative working conditions or being sacked for joining a union.
The Play Fair campaign brings together workers and consumers all over the world to urge the sportswear industry to change the way it works.
Events are planned this year to push the IOC and the industry to work with NGOs and union organizations such as the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation to embrace "ethical sourcing" and make their promises a reality.
For the full report and campaign details go to: http://www.fairolympics.org/en/index.htm
The incident at the Sydney University Village cafeteria followed another in which a dishwasher was forced to sign an indemnity form before receiving help after "nearly having his finger ripped off' in a dishwashing machine.
"I slipped over because the floor wasn't matted properly," said Rachel who declined to have her surname used because she felt it would count against her in the hospitality industry. "I was lying crying on my back. The first thing the owner said was 'it's all your fault'. Then the manager said 'I'll get you something', and returned with a disclaimer form."
Workers at the cafeteria were underpaid for "almost the whole time" they were employed last year, she claimed.
"I didn't realise how badly I was treated until I started my new job," says Rachel, a working student who has joined the union in her new part time position.
The incident came to light during the NSW Labor Council's Working Students campaign during 'Orientation Week' at university campuses across NSW. The campaign has set out to educate working students about their rights at work.
CFMEU officials represented the family in their quest for bridging visas after the formworker tumbled 2.5 metres from a site that had no perimeter protection, last week.
CFMEU secretary, Andrew Ferguson, confirmed his organisation was also seeking an ex gratia payment for the man from his employer, Moxom Constructions, after investigations raised other questions about the company's employment practices.
Ferguson said he had already made representations about the man's status to Immigration Department but there had also been allegations that the company paid cash in hand, and had underpaid workers compensation premiums.
The Korean was employed on luxury home units being constructed in inner-city Surry Hills.
"We are going to Immigration with the family to try and make sure they are allowed to stay while this man fights for his life," Ferguson said.
When Workers Online published last Friday the man was still in a coma, suffering "serious" head injuries.
Battling for Bosses
Meanwhile, CFMEU activists revved-up their campaign to win $700,000 for industry contractors, at a noisy protest in Homebush last Thursday night.
Fifteen sub-contracting building companies on a four storey retail office development at George St, Homebush, were left unpaid when Austin Australia went broke.
More than 50 CFMEU members targeted supermarket operator, Alidi, on a late shopping night to insist the contractors received outstanding monies. Union members have been protesting outside the development for the past fortnight.
Ferguson said his organisation had "no problems" about fighting for small employers.
"We are talking about small Australian business operators who face ruin if they are not paid the money they are owed," he said. "This union is happy to make representations on family businesses that have union agreements and employ union members.
"If they aren't paid, workers' jobs and entitlements will be threatened."
Society Operations director, Carol Ireland, told the Australian Financial Review that while some of those who had been suspended were blind or visually impaired they had had voice-recognition systems on their computers.
The issue has pitched internet privacy back into the public domain with NSW Labor Council calling the suspension of visually-impaired workers "absurd". The Council has been pushing for state government regulation of employers' abilities to snoop on workplace emails.
"People can't be held responsible for material they receive on email because it is something they have no control over," assistant secretary Michael Gadiel says.
Four of the 12 Royal Society workers have quit, rather than return to the non-profit organisation. They had all been instructed to write to chief executive, John Landau, to justify why they should not be sacked for breaching email policy.
"People are not here to read jokes and other material and to be paid by the public," Ms Ireland told the Financial Review.
The paper quoted a private sector workplace relations consultant as saying the Blind Society's disciplinary action seemed "like an over-reaction".
A confidential briefing to Bracks Government staffers sets out messages for the upcoming public service wages round, aiming to shift the focus from the plights of teachers and nurses, to those of students and patients.
While nurse workloads are to be down played, teachers will be accused of trying to take resources from schools and will only be offered a wage rise of nine per cent over three years.
As for public servants, Government advisers suggest their 18 per cent wage claim be dismissed as "unsustainable and financially irresponsible".
In the briefing, staffers are warned: "This may take some time. We need to be professional, calm and responsible throughout this process.
"We are balancing many competing objectives, but our key priority is the responsible management of the State's finances. We must show discipline, consistency and continuity in our message."
The strategy came to light the same week teachers v- from both public and private schools - staged a one-day strike across Victoria after Premier Steve Bracks vowed to "take the unions on".
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance says there are serious fears that Australian perspective within broadcast media on local and international events may be lost.
Currently free to air networks have to show 55 per cent local content between 6AM and midnight.
The FTA means that similar rules in relation to pay TV and new media may never be introduced and our entire news, current affairs, sports and documentary production may be sourced from overseas.
At best it seems that the current requirements expenditure for local content on most subscription services (Pay TV) may not be able to rise above 10 per cent - if the Government at any time wishes to increase this quota on drama channels to a new maximum of only 20 per cent over time, they would have to consult with the United States.
Federal Labor's communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner says this consultation mechanism is of particular concern, given that these consultations are likely to be influenced by powerful organisations such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who publicly oppose Australia's right to increase caps.
The Screen Producer's Association of Australia says the caps on expenditures on Australian adult drama (at 20%) and children's, documentary, arts and education channel (10%) will be the lowest in the developed world.
Workers from across the system this week took out newspaper ads and held a conference to brief the media on the contribution successive governments have made to the current rail crisis.
Rank and file workers spoke of shortcomings including:
- failing to invest in rail infrastructure
- failing to train new workers, in particular apprentices and tradespeople
- failing to listen to its own employees about problems in the rail system
- and failing to manage the railways properly, with eight CEOs in the past decade..
"NSW Rail has been structured, restructured, named, renamed, privatised, corporatised, outsourced and massively downsized," the advertisements says.
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson said the advertisements sent the message to the public that the workers who keep the system running should not be made scapegoats when things go wrong.
"The truth is this system survives on the goodwill of its workforce and it is just not fair that they should carry the can for poor management," Robertson says.
The issues raised would be part of the enterprise bargaining round that commences at the end of the month.
The site, which contained broken asbestos and glass amongst other hazards, was open to the public - with local children "playing" in the semi-demolished building.
Building materials blocked the footpath, forcing young mothers and children from an adjacent school to use a busy narrow roadway.
The complaints from parents led to a picket of the site by the CFMEU, whose OHS officer, Dick Whitehead, overheard the "monstering" of the WorkCover inspector by developer, Eugene Benson, via his mobile phone.
An inspector had attended the site on a Saturday morning and had been on the phone to Whitehead when Benson, who has a number of AVOs out on him - including one from Manly MP David Barr, began screaming and shouting at the inspector.
"If I knew it was [Benson] I would have immediately called the police," says Whitehead. "It was the next best thing to verbal assault and intimidation. It left him in a bad way."
The inspector returned on the following Monday accompanied by other WorkCover inspectors and members of the Police who shut down the site. The CFMEU responded by immediately placing a picket on the site in order to protect the public.
"The site was an absolute mess,' says Whitehead. "There were no amenities, including first aid. No licensed demolition contractor."
"None of the demolition had been done in the correct order."
Whitehead pointed out that the4 CFMEU was not only concerned about the health of building workers, but also the public. This follows the deaths of members of the public in recent times through poor safety practices on building sites.
"There's not enough care taken when it comes to members of the public,' says Whitehead. "It could be your wife, or your neighbour."
Sydney May Day Committee secretary Warwick Smith the day should commemorate the great contribution that Australian working people have made to the advancement of Australian society.
The themes of this years' May Day will be "Job security and safety in the workplace" as well as the consistent themes of "Peace and International solidarity".
The May Day committee calls upon the entire trade union and working class movement to actively participate in this year's march.
"As this is an election year the committee sees this years May Day march as a great opportunity to make a strong stand in opposition to the Howard Government's attacks upon health, education and worker's rights," May Day Committee President George Gotsis says.
International Women's Day Event - Free BBQ & Entertainment
ACTU Supports Family-Friendly Workplaces
The ACTU is holding a free BBQ for women and their families to celebrate International Women's Day 2004 and help promote more family-friendly workplaces.
Balancing work and family is an important issue for many Australian families. The Prime Minister knows this - he even called it the nation's 'BBQ stopper' - but he has done nothing about it for more than two years.
On International Women's Day (Mon. 8 March), the ACTU reminds all governments and employers of their responsibility to do more to help women and families.
The ACTU supports a universal paid maternity leave scheme and the right of parents to request part time work.
kid's entertainment by the 'Jellybugs'
Sharan Burrow - ACTU President
State Library Lawns
cnr Swanston & La Trobe St
This Working Life
A free exhibition at the State Library of NSW, 1 March - 20 June 2004. Through photographs of employees at work and play and revealing company records, This Working Life is an engaging look at our working past, from 1824 to the 1950s. Drawn from the State Library's little known business archives and associated pictorial material, the exhibition features the Australian Agricultural Co, Colonial Sugar Refining Co (CSR), Anthony Hordern & Sons, Wunderlich, Berlei, Colgate-Palmolive and Chubb - many of which still exist today.
The exhibition is a social history of work, from convict labour, early migrant workers and burgeoning unionism, through the rise of large local companies and women in the workplace, to modern manufacturing techniques and advances in technology. The display focuses on the workers themselves: the people behind the big companies.
I can provide you with any further info you may need. You can view the website to get an idea. http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/
Popular Education, Activism and Organising: with unions, social movements and community development groups
Forum 1: 12 March NEW FORMS OF ACTIVISM
How do activists organise at the beginning of the 21st century? In different fields such as environmental and social justice campaigns, among union activists and community advocates, efforts are being made to recruit, organise and educate members and activists.
What lessons of campaigning and organising can be learned from hearing and discussing the experiences of activists working in these different settings?
What is working? What questions still need to be asked?
Environmental action and activist development - Danny Kennedy, Campaign
Director, Greenpeace Australia and Pacific
Renewing union campaigning - the story of the Hilton Hotel and Westfield
campaigns - Louise Tarrant, Assistant National Secretary, Liquor,
Hospitality & Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU)
Keynote - Kristyn Thompson - NSW Branch Secretary, Australian Services Union (ASU)
James Whelan - the environmental advocacy project, Griffith University
The forum will actively engage participants in discussing and analysing different experiences.
Date: Friday, 12 March 2004
Time: 9am - 2pm Location: Centre for Popular Education University of Technology, Sydney, Jones St, Broadway (Old Fairfax Building)
FEES - $30 for one forum; $50 for two forums; $70 for three forums
For further details contact Lee Malone (02) 9514 3861, Daniel Ng (02) 9514 3843 or Tony Brown (02) 9514 3866
email: [email protected]
The $500 billion dollar question. The impact of debt on the poor in the Asia Region and beyond.
Key note address by Peter Garret addressing the impacts of debt on the environment.
Other speakers include:
Prof Ross Buckley, Fisher Centre Bond University
Prof. Leonor Briones, Former Head of the Philippines Treasury
David Nellor, Senior Resident, IMF, Indonesia (tbc)
Prof. Jomo K.S., University of Malaya
For the flyer please go to http://www.aidwatch.org.au
Cost : Government/business/academia: $77.00 NGO/individual: $44.00 Concession: $22.00
When: Wednesday 24 March 2004. 9.00 am - 3.30 pm.
Where: Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Level 60, Governor Philip Tower, Young St, Sydney
RSVP: 15th March to [email protected]
Fischer Centre for Global Trade & Finance
Struggles, Scabs & Schooners II - a labour history tour with a pint
20th March 2004
Starts at the Star Hotel (cnr. Sussex & George Streets, Sydney)
Stopping in at four pubs, with speakers including Jack Mundey, Harry Black and Tom McDonald.
(By popular demand: dinner will be at about 6:30pm, and will be the last pub we stop at)
Cost: approx $30 (we will confirm shortly) - includes bus, dinner and water. Drunkenness is extra, singing is free...
Places are very limited (mostly 'cause its a bus!)
Cheques can be made out to Chris Gambian c/- FSU PO Box A2442 Sydney South 1235
See you there!
Adelaide International Workplace Conflict Conference - 21-23 April 2004
Holiday Inn on Hindley (formerly the Novotel Adelaide), Hindley Street.
The workplace mirrors the world - dealing with conflict at work
Conflict is a characteristic feature of most workplaces and has many manifestations. Its impacts can be positive or negative. The conference will look at the sources of workplace conflict and its management. It will be of interest to human resource practitioners, advocates, legal practitioners, health professionals, conflict resolution professionals, educators, OHS&W practitioners and representatives, workplace change consultants, unions, employers, government agencies, academics and policy makers.
Dale Bagshaw, University of South Australia, Australia.
Richard Bonneau, Los Angeles Police Department, US.
Pat Ferris, Organisational Consultant, Canada.
Eric Lee, LabourStart, UK.
Patricia Mannix McNamara, University of Limerick, Ireland
Mark Thomson, Author, Australia.
Dieter Zapf, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany.
Privacy & Confidentiality - "Email is Forever"
Workplace Cultures & Managerial Fundamentalism
Workplace Grievance & Dispute Procedures
Training for Managing Conflict
Conference Registration Information:
Registration fee: $545
More information, including registration forms, can be found at the conference web site:
E v e n t S t r a t e g i e s P t y , P O B o x 4 8 6 , U N L E Y , S O U T H A U S T R A L I A 5 0 6 1
T e l : 6 1 8 8 3 7 3 4 5 8 0 E m a i l : c o n f l i c t c o n f @ e v e n t s t r a t e g i e s . c om. a u
WHEN WORKERS UNITE - FOUNDATIONS OF TOMORROW
An exhibition of banners, badges and posters produced by trade unions, and original artworks by Jeff Rigby highlighting the strong historical role unions have played in the creation and conservation of our built environment, whilst May Day materials emphasise the workers' achievements in gaining and maintaining the rights and conditions of those who built it.
From: 1st May to 16th May 2003 at Braemar Gallery, 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm
Hello everyone, I would like to run a campaign to bring back Medicare Bulk Billing.
I am just an individual who is fed up with Medicare Bulk Billing being taken away from us. I am looking for support from everyone and we all need to write to as many people as possible to bring back Medicare bulk billing.
For a start, let's all write to John Howard and Health Minister (unfortunately) Tony Abbott. Hopefully we get a change of Government with the election this year and Bulk Billing will hopefully be brought back in.
Write letters to this website too as a lot of people read this website.
Here are my thoughts ...
What is Australia coming to Mr. Howard, I pay almost $400 per year for Medicare in my taxes, but I now can't find a Dr that bulk bills. So now I have to pay around $40 up front to see a Doctor. Where does the money go that I pay for Medicare?
Mr. Howard is making Australia like America in more ways than one. Mr. Howard and Mr. Bush can spend billions attacking Iraq, but they can't even make a health system available for people to go to the Doctor without forking out around $40 a visit in here Australia.
Even Union Health, Swanston Street Medical Centre in the ACTU building is cutting out bulk billing from 1st March.
Bring back Gough Whitlam, he introduced Medicare, John Howard and Tony Abbot are destroying it for ordinary working people. Bring back bulk billing with Medicare so that we can just visit a doctor when we are sick and just show our MEDICARE CARD like in the good old days.
WHAT RIGHT HAS THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE AWAY OUR MEDICARE bulk billing?
Politicians just look after themselves, they do not care about us workers! They keep making more and more money for themselves and for business leaders make more and more millions while workers get less and less. And we have to pay when we see a Doctor, Shame on you John Howard and Tony Abbott.
So everyone, write to your local members, write to your local Doctor, write to this website, write to Howard and insist they bring back MEDICARE bulk billing.
Having sat through two hours of watching Mel Gibson's Jesus of Nazareth being tortured by the Romans in "The Passion Of The Christ" I thought how lucky we are to live in a caring compassionate society with freedom of speech such as Australia.
Then my mind turned to refugees fleeing you guessed it Torture, Discrimination, Oppression and even Death to be locked up in desert concentration camps...
child slavery, the over-throw of democratically elected governments by other countries, corruption, pollution, collusion between business, politicians against the citizens by the media, etc. It is a proven commonsense fact that individual people or institutions cannot save this planet especially with most politicians, dictators and businesses preventing their efforts.
The majority vote system is for citizens to submit issues of concern to their government department in context with that government department.
Each government department will enter into a debate in alphabetical order; all issues of concern will be debated. In a debate an issue of concern will be given three proposed solutions, then the citizens will vote which preferred proposal they think will suit their need, the majority in favour of a proposed issue will become law. Citizens will view and operate this system of governing by their country‚s telephone and television station.
I would appreciate your views on the matter if I do not have a response from you I will advise our members and the public you are not truly in favour of saving our environment or lifestyles you must have other agenda's more important.
To Head Office first, and the war hero with a conscience will take on the deserter who loves playing army dress-ups. Bizarrely, it is the latter running on national security.
There is no doubt America is a very different place to the one that George Dubya seized control of via the dimpled chads four years ago. The attacks on New York sparked the War on Terror and the top-rating 'Get Saddam', a reality show that continues to run way after its scheduled sign-off date.
Glimpsing the first wave of Republican advertising this week, it is clear Bush will wrap himself in the flag, play up the fear factor and turn the vote into an auction on defence spending - spiced with a little wedge politics villifying gay marriage.
Sure the economy is on the skids, the health system is a joke and the gap between rich and poor is widening ever further but, hell, this is war and in wartime we all make sacrifices - unless we happen to own shares in Haliburton.
John Kerry was the stand-out candidate from the primaries seeing off the wooden Clark, the cheesy Edwards and the psychotic Dean, but he will have more bullets fired at him than he did in Nam - a Liberal from the north, a political insider and the ultimate attack 'soft on security'.
The ballot is eight months off and it will be interesting to see how much $140 million in Republican advertising can buy. My guess is that, despite the obvious superiority of the Democrat candidate, the bucks will be enough to buy another term.
In Branch Australia similar dynamics are at play, albeit on a smaller scale. Howard will play the 'tough on security line for all its worth - playing up border protection, the war on Iraq and the US alliance as his trump cards.
He too will out spend his opponents with ads that make us feel scared of foreigners, scared of the future, but - most of all - scared of change.
That is the trump card that conservative incumbents always have: (a) progressive candidates tend to come to power on a wave of optimism: think Whitlam, think Hawke (b) the government of the day has the levers at hand to stymie such feelings of goodwill.
Now that it has found a leader who can talk and turn his head at the same time, Labor has a chance to challenge this worldview, but the difficulty of the task should not be underestimated.
Mark Latham has grasped the public's attention with talk of the real pressures facing families, from reading to kids to mentoring boys to working community solutions to problems, the Latham model of social democratic government is tapping a vein.
But how resilient is this dream of a better life to the upcoming mantra 'don't trust them with your mortgage, don't trust them with national security' will dictate the outcome of the election.
It's a sorry world where the politics of fear is such a potent tool; the next 12 months will truly be a test of our better instincts.
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