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Issue No. 214 26 March 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The Security Shift
As the War on Terror spirals out of control, the political dynamics of security are starting to shift – and those banging thee drums of war may become the unlikely casualties.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Baby Bust
Labor's Wayne Swan argues that the plight of our aging workforce is only one side of our demographic dilemma.

Safety: Dust To Dust
Failure by authorities to police safety in the asbestos removal industry is threatening the lives of members of the public, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
Delegates from print shops around Sydney will publicly shame this month’s Bad Boss nominee with a rally outside his new Alexandria operation next Thursday.

National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
Noel Hester reports on a spin doctors' talkfest, workplace pain, stroppy teachers and IWD party time in the national wrap.

International: Bulk Bullies
An extraordinary five month struggle over affordable health care, by nearly 70,000 Californian supermarket workers, has just come to an end, writes Andrew Casey.

History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Green Bans saved a piece of bush before they saved much of the Sydney’s built environment, writes Neale Towart

Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Tim Anderson reveals Australia’s second betrayal Of East Timor is playing out before our eyes.

Review: The Art Of Work
Workers and westies are being celebrated as the cultural icons they are thanks to two Sydney exhibitions reminding us there is a world of art in the everyday, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Wondering where the next porkie is going to come from? Resident bard David Peetz knows.

N E W S

 Terrorism: Workers In Front Line

 ‘Racist Throwback’ on Rail Project

 Green Light for Council Code

 Underground Mines a Time Bomb

 Teachers Delete Email

 Bush Uses Burma Sweatshops

 Family Mourns Dead Worker

 Call Centre Shocker

 Bosses Touched Up With Wet Lettuce

 Andrews Throws Last Dice at CFMEU

 Smelter Contractors Clear Air

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Iraq and Your Mortgage
How high interest rates go will be a key issue in 2004 and if you are looking for a clue, there's no better place to look than the war in Iraq, writes Michael Rafferty.

Sport
Hang Onto the Day Job
Show someone else the money, says Phil Doyle.

Politics
Westie Wing
Ian West shows why Eveleigh Street’s not so far away from Macquarie Street

Postcard
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Get Up, Stand Up is the logo of choice on a popular range of subversive condoms. Ken Davis from Union Aid Abroad reports from Zimbabwe’s second city

L E T T E R S
 More On Green Bans
 But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?
 Uniting For Peace
 Cyberstalking
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Teachers Delete Email


A lack of assurances from top bureaucrats over child protection and security has led NSW teachers to ban a statewide roll out of trouble-plagued ‘e-learning’ email accounts.

Teachers have found the $84 million system to be cumbersome, and there have been significant technical problems.

Teachers, already facing heavy workloads, have also expressed concerns over their ability to effectively implement the program as well as raising privacy and access to training and development concerns.

The Federation has held discussions with The Department of Employment and Training (DET) over a period of 18 months to gain assurances about their concerns.

No guarantees have been forthcoming from DET. The 'e-learning system' is currently being piloted in 51 schools and TAFE colleges.

On 18 March, the NSW Premier publicly announced the roll out of the 'e-learning system'. The roll out is to begin in schools in southwestern Sydney in Term 2 this year and the rest of NSW over the next 18 months.

A commitment by former Minister John Watkins, and the previous Director-General, Jan McClelland, that teachers would be consulted about all future decisions concerning the project - and that it would not be rolled out until the implementation of the pilot was successful - has not been honoured.

No provision exists for technical support in schools. The current plan for training and development to support implementation merely consists of a CD-Rom which teachers would have to access in their own time.

The NSW Teachers Federation has slammed this as "totally unacceptable".

The ban on the "e-learning system" does not extend to the use teachers already make of emails and the internet as this is accessed through a separate system.


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