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Issue No. 224 11 June 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The Passion For Power
Arguably Midnight Oils’ greatest ever song ‘Powderworks’ starts off with the apocalyptic warning "there’s a shit storm a-coming."

The Passion for Power
Arguably Midnight Oils’ greatest ever song ‘Powderworks’ starts off with the apocalyptic warning "there’s a shit storm a-coming."

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month’s Bad Boss nomination …

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto – "Don't tell the Minister!".

N E W S

 Making Plans For Nigel

 People Importer Wants Indemnity

 Desperate Ambos Turn to Copper

 Victims Dusted in Asbestos Row

 Delos Bang Victory Gong

 Teaching 12 Percent Tougher

 Now Carr Faces Medical Bill

 Officers Hurt in Transit

 Support Unit Makes Canberra Debut

 Winter Beds Breakthrough

 Workers Wait For Bread

 HoWARd the A**sLIcKEer

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?

Politics
The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West

L E T T E R S
 Godbotherers Descend On Poor
 Sick Of This Job
 Office Junior’s Secrets
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Teaching 12 Percent Tougher


Teaching children in the information age has become a more onerous job, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission recognised in handing down a 12 per cent ‘special case’ rise to teachers this week.

But the Carr Government faces ongoing industrial action from public school teachers after the IRC ‘moderated’ its final decision in the landmark pay case because government cried poor.

The IRC conducted inquiries into the changing work values of teachers in both public and Catholic schools, a change that teachers argued justified a 25 per cent pay rise.

The IRC awarded just under half that, to be paid over two years. While teachers were disappointed with the quantum, they did take heart from the Commission's findings of substantial changes to the way they per4form their work.

In its decisions the Commission accepted arguments that there had been "significant changes in the method of work of teachers".

These included:

- an over-crowded curriculum, including changes without adequate consultation

- a growing number of non-core teaching tasks, including those formerly carried out by the family

- the devolution of school management tasks to individual schools and individual teachers

- the increasing number of vocational courses teachers are required tot each and the increased trend to include children with disabilities in mainstream classes.

The IRC found that these increases in work value had not been recognised in their pay, remarking in the Catholic teachers decision that: "Teachers have been unable to establish their status as professionals in a manner which would enable them to exercise authority and influence in the way normally associated with a profession.

"In fact the status of teacher sin Australia is declining ... (and) to attract and retain high quality applicants it is important to enhance the status of the profession."

Despite these statements, teacher unions were disappointed with the final decision, the NSW Teachers Federation livid that Catholic counterparts received higher increases for senior teachers, a move they blame on the Carr Government's opposition to their claim.


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