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Issue No. 296 24 February 2006  

Sad Sacks
It has been a sad spectacle watching a Labor Government run down public servants, as they have in NSW this week.


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.


 Taskforce Shrugs Bashed Teen Worker

 Abattoir Blues

 Car Plant Puts Pedal to Metal

 Call Me Now: Rev Kev

 Fat Boss Sings

 Unions Back After This Break

 Public Cuts Must Be Last

 Apprentices Grow Up

 ‘Castle Win Keeps Trains On Track

 Chicken Worker Stuffed

 ‘Revolving Gangplank' at Sydney Ferries

 NSW Councils Short $21 billion

 Activists What's On!


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.

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

 Lest We Forget
 For Whom the Toll Bells
 Unfinished Business
 Labor Sells Hydro
 Stop the Hordes
 Packer Whacker
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Public Cuts Must Be Last

The Public Service Association has asked the NSW Government to guarantee it will not increase the number of job cuts to the public service.

Following last week's revelation that the government planned to slash 5000 public service jobs, 1000 more than previously thought, PSA general secretary John Cahill said it was time for the NSW government to be upfront about its plans.

"We are still in the dark about which services are in the firing line, yet the Government saw fit to announce even more planned job cuts," he said.

"How can the Government claim services to the NSW public won't suffer while planning bigger, indiscriminate cuts?"

Mr Cahill said the recent promises to increase the number of police, nurses and teachers did not make the problem of damage to services go away.

"More frontline staff require more support, yet the Government is planning to cut existing support services," he said.

"At this rate we will have huge numbers of nurses, policemen and teachers writing rosters, organising payroll and other paperwork. And that is just the start of it.

"What happens to those trying to keep a lid on diseases on our farms, protect the seas from over-fishing, check the safety of our roads and look after our wildernesses?"

"The public sector has already been cut by one third in real terms since 1980, and the government's changes will only wind it back further," he said. "The public wants to see governments come up with plans to improve services, not cut them."

The PSA's campaign against cuts has the backing of Unions NSW, which is intensifying its pressure on the government to draw a line through further cuts and will convene a meeting of all public sector unions to build a united front.


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