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Issue No. 268 17 June 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Courting Public Opinion
This weekend marks a significant step forward in the evolution of union campaigning, with the launch of $8 million in advertising to hit the Howard Government where it hurts – in the lounge rooms of middle Australia.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Baby Drought
Social ethicist Leslie Cannold has delved into why women - and men - are having fewer children. And it all comes back to the workplace.

Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
David Peetz uncovers the truth behind the latest statistics on earnings under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Workplace: The Invisible Parents
Current government policies about work and family do not reflect the realities of either family life or the modern workplace. writes Don Edgar.

History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australia’s industrial relations system.

Politics: All God's Children
The battle for morality is not confined to Australian polittics. Michael Walzer writes on the American perspective

Economics: Spun Out
The business groups are feeling cocky. The feds have announced their IR changes, business says they don't go far enough. What a surprise, writes Neale Towart

International: Shakey Trials
Lyndy McIntyre argues the New Zealnd IR experiment provides warnings - and hope - for the Australian union movement.

Legal: Civil Distrubance
Tom Roberts argues that there is more at stake than an attack on building workers in the looming legsilation.

Review: Crash Course In Racism
Paul Haggis flick Crash suggests that when cars collide the extent of people's prejudices are revealed sans the usual veil of political correctness, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: You're Fired
New laws will leave bosses holding the whip and workers with a Raw Hide, writes resident bard David Peetz

N E W S

 Insults Hertz

 Andrews Bends Over for Big End

 Boeing, Boeing Gone

 Cobb & Co Punt Parkes

 Corporates Arm Firing Squad

 Quad Gets the Brush

 Practical Joke Costs Police

 Unions Target Soap and Grunt

 US Backs Terrorists

 Royalty Held Hostage in WA

 Bad News Rising On AWAs

 Workers Exercise Choice

 Howard Scores Own Goal

 RailCorp Shocker

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Locker Room
Ashes to Dust
In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West lists the Top Ten reasons why workers in NSW can gain some solace from having the Labor Party sitting on the Treasury benches…

The Soapbox
Dear John
In response to this year’s Federal Budget, Bishop Kevin Manning wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard

L E T T E R S
 Wandering In The Wilderness
 Once Upon A Time In America
 The Truth Is Out There
 History Repeats
 Cash Cow On Private Tax Farm
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Workers Exercise Choice


More than 100 Department of Employment and Workplace Relations staff walked off the job, last week, in a slap in the face for their minister’s attack on choice in workplace bargaining.

Staff can't understand Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews' promotion of "choice" in industrial relations reform, while removing choice in his own department.

The department is delaying the negotiation of a collective agreement for current staff, while new staff onto non-union AWAs.

"Mr Andrews was saying everyone has a choice between a collective agreement an individual agreement, well excuse me, but this is wrong," a public servant of over 25 years, told the crowd of DEWR workers at Sydney's Belmore Park.

She was identified only as "Wendy" because public servants are forced to sign agreements preventing them from speaking out.

"I feel my department has a totally political agenda. I feel the workers are suffering because of this," she said.

DEWR's collective agreement expired last December, but negotiations have been delayed by management conditions and a lack of consultation with the workforce.

Community and Public Sector Union spokesperson Lisa Newman warned DEWR was at the thin end of Andrews' industrial relations wedge.

"Our fear is what's happening in DEWR is going to be rolled across the entire public service," she said.


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