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Issue No. 217 23 April 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Textor Messaging
Those responsible for communicating the union movement’s message to the public met in Melbourne this week and invited none other than John Howard’s master pollster to give his perspective. The spooky thing was his message to unions was an optimistic one.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Terror Australis
The Howard Government has just discovered the nation's ports are a terrorist target. The International Transport Federation's Dean Summers has been warning them for years.

Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Hidden in the Australian Workers Union Sydney office is a mild-mannered industrial officer who once strutted the international cricket stage, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: The Hell of Troy
On the basis of a couple of hours in the witness box, Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole described Troy Stratti as "credible". Six men who, together, have known the company director for the best part of 50 years beg to differ.

Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Traditional unions are rediscovering the power of grassroots organising. Paddy Gorman reports from the coal face.

Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
Evan Jones argues that economic policy making has been narrowed and rendered mechanistic and antiseptic.

History: Vicious Old Lady
Despite its Liberal leanings, the Sydney Morning Herald has never been shy of bashing unions, writes Neale Towart.

International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Thailand must end its crackdown on Burmese fleeing rights abuses in their military-ruled homeland, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Review: War Unfogged
Want to go to war but not sure where to start? Look no further than Errol Morris' latest doco-drama for the definitive 11-step lesson plan, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: TAFE
A TAFE student struggling under the weight of fees shares his wordly wisdom

N E W S

 "Slave Labour" in WA Revolt

 Vaile Orange – 200 Punted

 Right Turn Ends in Court

 Premier on Track to Nowhere

 Bosses Unite Against Holidays

 Miners Stand Up to "Bullies"

 All Out in the Gong

 Zoo Poo Stink

 Feared Beard in Shipping Scare

 Mayday … Footy Player Celebrates

 Teachers Roll Up for Discipline

 De-Skilling Australia

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

Postcard
A Voice for Peace
Palestinian trade union leader calls on militants to lay down their arms while the ICFTU protests harassment of Palestinian union leader.

The Soapbox
The Double Standard Bearers
Nicholas Way argues that when it comes to collective action, the Howard Government has different views depending on whether you are a unionist or a small business.

The Locker Room
The Fine Print
While the result mightn’t be everything, it does make the back of the newspaper more interesting, as Phil Doyle reports.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Ian West crunches the numbers in Macquarie Street and finds virtue in deficit.

L E T T E R S
 More Than Cricket
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Education

Teachers Roll Up for Discipline


Queensland teachers want protection after a woman was assaulted by a male student.

Stop work meetings are calling on the Education Department to stiffen "weak" policies on student behaviour that threaten the safety of frontline teaching staff.

Teachers at Sarina State High School stopped work on April 21 and Maleny State High School on the Sunshine Coast on April 22 as part of the statewide campaign.

Teachers at Alexandra Hills State High School held a stop work meeting last month over teacher safety and student behaviour issues after an incident at the school.

According to the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) sustained swearing and an assault on a female teacher attempting to prevent a fight between two students was euphemistically described by the Department as "bad language and inappropriate behaviour". The union has labelled this as an attempt to defuse growing teacher concern about such incidents.

Teachers at Alexandra Hills passed a motion saying that the Department's response has grave implications for teacher safety statewide.

QTU Vice-President Steve Ryan said Sarina State High School teachers shared the concerns of their colleagues throughout Queensland about the Department's "weak" approach to student behaviour.

"All too often the Department refuses to support schools when it comes to serious occurrences of student misbehaviour," says Ryan. "If a school excludes a student after a serious incident then the Department should back this action rather than overturning it."

"The Department must urgently overhaul its policies on student behaviour as well as provide schools with improved resources to deal with the issue."

Mr Ryan said the Government had to fund more alternative educational sites for students not suited to mainstream schooling, and had to establish a non-negotiable policy where any student who assaulted a teacher was automatically excluded and forced to enrol at another school.

Other schools may consider campaign action in coming weeks if the Department and State Government don't deliver improved funding and more practical policies.


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