|Issue No 29||03 September 1999|
Workers Rally To Protect Disabled Homes
Workers in group homes for disabled people will rally outside Parliament this week to argue against plans to privatise 75 per cent of the facilities over the next three years.
The push to tender the homes out from the Department of Community Services to private operators have prompted alarm about the maintenance of services and the impact on the 3,000 workers employed in the sector.
Public Service Association president Maurie O'Sullivan says at least 200 facilities are earmarked to be replaced with private operations, leading to an inevitable drop is standards.
"I think the government is abrogated its place in humanity," O'Sullivan says. "Very clearly this is Treasury driven and steeped in economic rationalism, it's the slide approach to humanity.
And O'Sullivan warns that the government could actually end up losing money, given a recent Federal Court decision on the portability of conditions when services are contracted out.
Protesters have been asked to meet Hyde Park at 11.30am to march to Parliament House on Tuesday.
TAFE Teachers To Maintain Pressure
Meanwhile, nearly 16,000 TAFE teachers stopped work to attend mass rallies to protest cuts to TAFE budgets and the Carr Government's refusal to negotiate on new wage agreements.
Teachers say the effects of the cuts will be:
- a reduction of 630 teaching and support positions
- putting taxpayers money into the pockets of private providers
- reducing opportunities for quality public education and training in both country and city areas
- increasing class sizes and reducing the number of courses and subjects available to students
- increasing the casualisation of the TAFE teaching service from its current unacceptable level, where more than half of all teaching is done by part-time casuals
- removal of job security for TAFE teachers
Teachers will begin rolling strikes this week, commencing on Tuesday 7th and spread over until Friday, week, with a quarter of the state out each day for two hours.
While Education Minister John Aquilina is persisting with the line that the government will not negotiate until teachers agree to sign off on contentious issues in the previous award, the teachers say the ball is in his court on staffing levels and pay for casual teachers.
Activists: Virtually Here - Eric Lee
From the Kibbutz to cyberspace, Andrew Casey profiles the work of an Internet class warrior.
Interview: Net Benefits
Sean Kidney has been combining business savvy with social justice for more than a decade. He gives us his take on unions and the Net.
International: Dateline Dili
As the United Nations attempts to begin counting the votes from East Timorís independence referendum, the capital Dili is rapidly spiralling out of control.
Unions: Secret Herbs and Spices
Read KFC worker Claire Hamilton's speech to last week's Second Wave Rally.
Politics: Loosening Laborís Links?
Is Labor under Kim Beazley fundamentally changing its social appeal and turning itself into the Australian equivalent of Bill Clintonís Democrats?
Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
Our regular update on papers and articles for union officials and students.
History: Immigration, Racism and the Labour Movement
An upcoming conference asks some hard questions about the politics of immigration.
Satire: Crime Figures Down: NSW Elections Postponed
The release of statistics showing decreasing crime rates has threatened to delay the next NSW election.
Review: Trains of Treasure
A new CD of poems and songs pays tribute to our rich locomotive history.
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