There is a term for political statements that are so bland they have lost their meaning – terms that no one could disagree with, designed to win the support of all people at all times.
Interview: Machine Man
It’s regarded as the most powerful job in the Party, but new NSW ALP general secretary Mark Arbib wants to build a bridge with the union movement.
Unions: Testing Times
Unions are not opposed to drug and alcohol testing, but they do want to see real safety issues addressed, writes Phil Doyle.
Bad Boss: Freespirit Haunts Internet
FreeSpirit forked out a motza for a whiz bang internet presence then disappeared right off the radar – once it was nominated as our Bad Boss for May.
Unions: Badge of Honour
Surry Hills is home to one of the world’s finest displays of union badges thanks to Bill "The Bear" Pirie and a supporting cast headed by Joe Strummer, Mark Knopfler, George Benson, Annie Lennox and other seriously big noises.
National Focus: Noel's World
Shrill bosses bleat over minimum wage rise, union spinmeisters congregate in Melbourne and Tassie’s nurses take the baton from their mob in Victoria reports Noel Hester in this national round up.
Economics: Safe Refuge
A humanitarian approach to refugees and an economically rational one?? I’d like to see that. Frank Stilwell did, when he went to Young in NSW to look into the impact of the Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who came to work for the local abattoir
International: Global Abuse
Amnesty International have joined the chorus against the violation of trade union rights in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.
History: The Honeypot
To the Honeypot come those individuals anxious to get their hands on instant wealth. So it was in the early days of Broken Hill, wrties Grace Hawes in this homage to the mining town.
Review: Death And The Barbarians
This new take on coming of age films focuses on the coming of death and the dignity and maturity it can inspire among those touched by it - though not always easily in the overcrowded Canadian public health system, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers some of the unfolding mysteries of talk back radio.
Big Bribe Misses Battlers
West in Great Leap Backwards
Cheques in the Mail
Bullets Foul Childcare
Thanks Bob - Lawyers Tuck In
Watchdog Barks for Workers
Budget Brushes Elderly Blueprint
John Sutton’s Fine Idea
Teachers Unified in Out(r)age
Qantas Hits Panic Button
Lights Out At MCG
Richs to Rags Warning
Activists What’s On!
Rethinking Left and Right Part 1
Dr David McKnight, from the University of Technology, Sydney presents a new frame for looking at the competing ideas within Social Democracy.
Rethinking Left and Right Part 2
David McKnight concludes the paper he presented to the ‘Rethinking Social Democracy’ conference, in London, April 15-17, 2004.
Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.
The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".
Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.
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Budget Brushes Elderly Blueprint
Peter Costello delivered $2.2 billion to aged care operators in this week’s budget by brushing key staffing and quality control recommendations contained in a report commissioned by his Government.
Budget white noise drowned out Hogan Report calls, delivered to Minister for Ageing Julie Bishop, for massive increases in staffing, training and operator accountability.
"Aged Care appears to have done well in the budget but there is no guarantee the money will go where it is needed," HSU secretary, Craig Thomson, said.
"Government has put up $2.2 billion without a guarantee that a single provider will lift staffing or standards or care.
"Professor Hogan said measures to address staff shortages and the huge wage disparity with the acute sector were "paramount" but they simply haven't been addressed."
Professor Hogan recommended funding for an extra 2700 nursing places at universities. Costello delivered 1000.
The Treasurer slashed recommended numbers of aged care staff doing medication management training, or vocational training by more than half.
Professor Hogan also called for public investment to be tied to greater levels of operator accountability.
Hogan's report came hard on the heels of the first major workforce survey of the sector by the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University.
It revealed that less than one fifth of 6000 aged care workers surveyed around Australia felt they had adequate time to care for residents.
Thomson said the taxpayer billions simply didn't address staffing or standards.
"In fact, more is being spent on spin to sell this package than the department will spend on training next year," he said.
"Aged care in our country has reached the point where standards have to be raised. Please consider, has not worked. It has failed elderly Australians and the people who work with them."
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