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Issue No. 264 20 May 2005  

Conviction Politics
In modern politics even ideology has become a matter of convenience; look no further than the principle that ‘third parties’ need to be removed from the workplace.


Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called “ Make Poverty History”.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.


 BHP Gets Decision to Die For

 Howard Turns to Water

 PM Noses into Pinocchio Territory

 Protest is Child’s Play

 A Baloney Deal Under Fire

 Decapitation Witness Dudded

 Newsroom Bullies Make Headlines

 Nelson Takes Axe To Brains

 Council Unhealthy for Families

 Top End Leader Backs Unions

 A Storm In Every Port

 Greens Go Rights

 Activist’s What’s On!


The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

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Nelson Takes Axe To Brains

Newcastle Uni workers have rallied over the axing of hundreds of jobs as academics across the country express anger at Federal Government to tie funding to compulsory AWAs.

"Howard has come out in print and said that his government is going to smash the NTEU," says NTEU state secretary Chris Game. "They are going to cut dissent and cut debate.

"This is not just about higher education. This is going to filter through to any area where Federal Government funding is used."

Game singled out health and local government as two other areas where Federal Government funding would be tied to introducing individual employment contracts.

Unions NSW Secretary John Robertson blasted the Federal Government as "hypocrites" over the move to link between funding and AWA's.

"This exposes how ideologically driven these people are," says Robertson. "For years they have said that the employment relationship should be free from third party intervention.

"Now they're introducing third party intervention themselves.

"This is a government full of hypocrites, using funding to beat people into submission."

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) rejected claims by education Minister Dr Nelson that further workplace reform is needed in the higher education sector so that universities can attract and keep top academics.

"While Minister Nelson claims his workplace reform proposals are all about rewarding high flyers, the detail doesn't bear this out," says Mr Grahame McCulloch, NTEU General Secretary. "In fact, his key proposal is that AWAs must prevail over the conditions in an Enterprise Agreement - the sole legal effect of which is to ensure AWA conditions can undercut those in an Enterprise Agreement."

Newcastle Jobs On the Line

Meanwhile, NTEU members at Newcastle Uni expressed deep anger at the breach of the University's enterprise agreements, with management announcing that 450 positions would be abolished.

"For the past forty years The University of Newcastle has responded to the needs of the Hunter. Staff and the Newcastle community are being left out to dry now that Canberra is running the agenda for this University." Says NTEU Newcastle Branch President Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds. "How did a $3 million deficit become $29 million deficit and why does the University need to eliminate such a large deficit in one year?


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