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Issue No. 323 08 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Double Jeopardy
As more examples of the human misery that is WorkChoices comes to light, the Howard Government is constructing a devious defence strategy that further erodes the independence of the public service.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
The ACCC is the latest state agency to turn its guns on the construction union. National official, Dave Noonan, discusses the implications.

Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
With new laws looming for “independent contractors”, Foxtel subbies have had the carpet pulled from under their feet, writes Nathan Brown.

Unions: Industrial Wasteland
A group of inner-Sydney veterans appear to be working to strip their families of retirement incomes. Jim Marr records their desperation.

International: Two Bob's Worth
German and British workers are participating in business decisions while WorkChoices locks Australians out of the conversation, writes Anthony Forsyth.

Economics: National Interest
John Howard claimed that interest rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than under Labor, Neale Towart crunchess the numbers.

Environment: The Real Dinosaur
Economic ignorance remains at the top and the critics are oblivious says Sol Power

History: Only In Spain?
The experiences of self management during the Civil War have been the one positive factor to come from that tragic event, and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation thrives today.

Review: Clerk Off
Nathan Brown draws solace from some fellow social misfits.

N E W S

 All Work and No Pay

 Peking Ducks Safety Regs

 MPs Face Super Clean-Out

 Gas Man Won't Say What's Cooking

 Crane Boss Lifts Her Profile

 World Bank Hollers for Marshalls

 Pork Choices

 Medibank Sale Looking Crook

 Radio Rentals Off Air

 Finger Man Gives For Sale Sign

 Libs: Lay Off Our Oppressor

 Cleaners Mop Up a Big One

 15 Percent All Round - Super!

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Legends
Westie Wing
MLC Ian West ventures beyond Macquarie St and into the desert of the eco rats.

The Soapbox
Testing Times
Former RLPA secretary and Newcastle Knights prop, Tony Butterfield, fires up over dawn raids.

Obituary
Dare to Win
The union movement has lost an inspirational leader of working men and women, writes Jeana Vithoulkas

Fiction
Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter Two - Tommy’s Tale.

L E T T E R S
 Wicked Ways
 Catch a Tube
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Libs: Lay Off Our Oppressor


Staff of NSW Opposition leader Peter Debnam abused PSA officials who attempted to inform them of their rights to a four per cent pay rise.

The briefing was called after it was revealed the Liberal leader had pooled the four per cent increase, negotiated by the union, and then distributed among just four of his 14 staff.

PSA industrial organiser Maria Cirillo said she briefed the staff and explained that the annual four per cent wages raises were identified to be shared among all workers.

"The leaders were more concerned about where we got the information then how much they were being paid, although you could see some of the quieter ones doing the sums in their heads and working out that they were getting a raw deal."

"They basically vented at us; we stood our ground and left membership forms for anyone who was interested in joining when the zealots were not in the room."

When questioned by the media on his approach to collective bargaining, Debnam labelled the increase "socialist", raising questions about his general attitude to public sector wages.

NSW Public Service Association general secretary John Cahill says this was never the intention of the union-negotiated wages deal.

"Unions negotiate pay rises to be shared by all workers, the idea of taking that benefit and passing it on to the select few is against everything we stand for," Mr Cahill said.

"This decision is an insult to the Opposition leader's workforce and an insult to the PSA members across the public sector who fought hard for this collective agreement."

The PSA has written to Mr Debnam seeking responses to the following questions.

- Was the right to a four per cent pay rise communicated to his staff?

- Was the question of distribution of the pay rise discussed with your staff prior to your decision to deny them increases?

- What criteria was applied in determining who should benefit from the pay rise?

- And is this the approach he intends spreading across the public sector should you win power in March 2007?

The PSA is also looking at launching legal action to force the Opposition leader to review the salary deal and share the increase equally.


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