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Issue No. 295 17 February 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Please Explain
It may become the defining irony of the Howard Era that a government that rode to power on the skirt of One Nation and hung there on the bridge of the Tampa is now opening our borders to hordes of low paid guest workers.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Court's in Session
As the silks line up to challenge WorkChoices, Jeff Shaw is fighting for his own legacy - the NSW IR system.

Industrial: Whose Choices?
The Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation has been dissected by lawyers and the commentariat; now it's the turn of political economists.

Politics: Peter's Principles
Forget John Howard. The force behind WorkChoices is Peter Costello. The Prime Minister-in-waiting has devoted a lifetime to undermining the security and living standards of Australian families, Jim Marr reports.

Environment: TINA or Greener?
What does the greenhouse effect and legislation to control workers have in common, asks Neale Towart

History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
Power. They have it, we want it. Friendly societies tried to keep it for working people, writes Neale Towart

International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
The US Government has refused to allow France's most famous farmer Jose Bove into the country to address a conference

Education: No AWA - No Job
The Howard Government has given the Australian community its first view of the future by forcing new staff at Ballarat University to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement if they want a job, writes Jenny Macklin.

Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
The writings of a Middle Eastern theologian may provide guidance to those grappling with indigenous issues, writes Graham Ring

Review: Charlie the Serf
Nathan Brown takes the sledgehammer (and sickle) to Mr Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

N E W S

 Local Jockey Odds Shorten

 Conscience II - RU4 Aussie Jobs?

 Online Porkies Spark Class Action

 Captain Cook Discovers WorkChoices

 Skippy's Escape Breaks Law

 PM's Pay Day

 STOP PRESS - 262 Day Strike Set To Finish

 Strike Sticks it to Glue Boss

 Fair Pay Chief Wages War

 Millionaires Score Tax Break

 Memo Costa: Remember Your Roots

 Gate Crashing Gourmet

 Australia Mum On Basic Rights

 Filipinos Pay for Packed House

 Son of Wal-Mart Pinged $2M

 Trust Me, I’m a Unionist

 Activist's Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Hitler in Bowral
Political censorship has made its wasy to the sleepy Southern Highlands, wrties Rowan Cahill.

The Locker Room
No Laughing Matter
Phil Doyle tries to take Australian sportspeople seriously, and fails.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…

L E T T E R S
 AWB Kickbacks to Iraq
 The Black GST
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Australia Mum On Basic Rights


Unions have called for a national standard for maternity leave, following a federal government report finding just seven per cent of employers offered the recommended global minimum.

A report by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency found most Australian women are a long way short of the recommended 14 weeks leave, set down by the International Labour Organisation.

"It doesn't surprise me in the least," said Unions NSW deputy assistant secretary Alison Peters, adding that Australia is one of the few first world countries that still doesn't have a national minimum standard of paid maternity leave.

The report found that over half of Australia's employers provide no paid maternity leave at all, while 40 per cent of those that do provide 6 weeks worth, which is less than half of the ILO recommendation.

"This has been a long, ongoing saga," said Ms Peters. "The Government's baby bonus may be equal to 14 weeks pay of minimum wages at best, but it is not the proper paid maternity leave Australian workers should be getting."

Previous research by the Agency shows more women return to work for employers that provide paid maternity leave (67 per cent) than those that don't (56 per cent).


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