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Issue No. 258 08 April 2005  

Be My Guest
Is anyone else confused about the current behaviour of our Prime Minister? In just a few short years heís transformed himself from National Door Bitch to Regional Street Spruiker.


Interview: [email protected]
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right Ö

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


 Cash Grab Targets Families

 Wattyl Lacks Colour

 Censors Ban Workers Online

 Stink Over Water

 Cole Slurs Slide

 Table Hands Stuffed

 Sweat Shop Taxes MLCís Patience

 Cops Strengthen Thin Blue Line

 Buses Drive Commuters Crazy

 Guards Win Rail War

 Building Families Pocket $15 Million

 Students Mark Lecturers

 Activistís Whatís On


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos arenít their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

 Out-of-sight, out-of-your-mind
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Students Mark Lecturers

Students will be marking academics at Charles Sturt University, amidst fears of downgraded degrees.

The academics have taken their case to graduating students following a six-month management's refusal to negotiate.

Staff have begun campaigning at graduation ceremonies fearing the University's "appalling" student staff ratio is undermining the value of degrees.

NTEU official Kevin Poynter says students have been supportive of the campaign with graduates and parents stopping to talk to leaflet totting lecturers.

Poynter says workload pressure has led to the University being the most "productive" in the country with annual productivity growth of 12.2 percent compared to a national average of 1.8.

"While this may make the University's finances look good it is important everyone realises that such a high student staff ratio seriously reduces the quality of teaching," said Poynter.

Poynter said staff are working long into the night and on weekends to keep up teaching standards. He says many employee's personal lives are suffering as a result.

"It's fair to say the Uni is only running on the dedication of its staff," he said.

Charles Sturt University's last enterprise agreement with academic and general staff expired almost two years ago.

Since then the university has refused to discuss staff concerns about bullying and three year probationary contracts which allow for staff to be punted with no mechanism of appeal.

Though no agreement has been reached with staff over pay, the University has been simply paying increases it deems appropriate.

Poynter says staff are prepared to take industrial action if University management does not meet with staff.

"It's difficult because the students are the ones who suffer," he said.


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