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Issue No. 265 27 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Hit and Myth
John Howard came to power on the back of a myth about the sort of Australia we had once been; now he is creating a new myth about the sort of Australia we want to become.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Sign or You're Gone

 Unions Back a Winner

 Howard Chases Nurses

 Victims Champ Joins Resistance

 Red and Green Blue

 Usual Suspects Lead Cheer Squad

 Ugly Australian On Charges

 Aussies Longer and Harder

 Guard Attached, Then Sacked

 Doh – Homero Loses Voice

 Bunbury Families Win Payouts

 Double Standards For Dads

 Libs Back 'Illegal' Rally

 TAFE Teaches A Lesson On Winning

 Activist’s What’s On!

C O L U M N S

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

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

L E T T E R S
 LETTERS LIVE AGAIN!
 One Hell Of A Job
 US Fan Mail
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Double Standards For Dads


Bankstown City Council's refusal to honour its family friendly policy for a father wanting time to care for his preschool age children is a double standard, says the worker's professional association.

The Development and Environmental Professionals' Association says the Council just can't seem to get it into their heads: fathers wanting to spend time with their children should be encouraged not punished.

The Council boasted it was a family friendly employer in the job ad that netted the man and maintains its claim but refused to let him condense his 35 hour week from five days to four - even after he proved it could be done during a three month trial.

Following further meetings this week, DEPA secretary Ian Robertson said was it unclear what sort of response the Association could have given the Council for them agree the man's desire to spend time with his kids was acceptable.

"I find this appalling. I bet if we were acting for a woman there would be a degree more sympathy.

"There's a suggestion that because our member is a bloke the explanation that he simply wants to spend a day a week with them, watching them learn and play and grow up, is unacceptable. Not a good enough reason.

"All he wants is to spend one day a week with his kids, before they go into schooling. They just don't get it that this bloke likes his kids and doesn't want to miss out on seeing them develop."

Robertson said the Council made several suggestions that could not be supported by DEPA including: the man should keep his children in childcare because everyone else did, that he should leave his company care at work on any days he does not come in, and that he should consider working his fifth day on Saturdays, sans penalty rates.

"All the stuff that happens with kids after two-years-of-age is missed by most Dads and we will pursue this to the bitter end to provide this lifestyle choice," Robertson said.


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