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  Issue No 39 Official Organ of LaborNet 12 November 1999  




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First Social Audit Win For Rural Road Workers

By Mark Hearn

Rural council workers have forced the state government to conduct a social audit into the impact of competitive tendering of work on the state's roads.


The MEU held rallies across NSW. Above MEU General Secretary Brian Harris and MEU President Steve Birney lead the march at Boorawa.

Following months of protests, negotiations and pressure from the Municipal Employees Union the State Government has finally - and publicly - committed to conduct a Social Impact Study into the ramifications of compulsory market testing of RTA local government funding.

The public announcement that the Government would conduct the Study finally came at the Local Government and Shires Association Conference at Dubbo when MEU regional and metropolitan delegates quizzed the NSW Minister for Roads and Transport Carl Scully on the floor of the Conference.

The questions directly led Mr Scully to admit the Government would conduct the Social Impact Study. The MEU has been pushing for the Study since the Government announced it would subject the local government work to Competitive Tendering.

Grassroots Movement

According to MEU General Secretary Brian Harris this campaign has been about people and jobs. "The pressure has come from the local communities themselves - it has been a large grassroots movement with several large rallies conducted across NSW which has forced the Government to back down and conduct the Study".

The MEU has argued consistently that Competitive Tendering would cause devastating effects on regional communities leading to job loss and the destruction of some smaller communities.

"This is a major victory - not just for the MEU and it's members but also for the communities whose livelihoods were at stake. Of course the battle is not over - we will be urging all local councils to support a moratorium on the market testing of RTA local government funding until the Impact Study is complete," Harris says.

"We will also be working with the government to ensure that the Study does fully assess the social impacts on jobs and local communities."

The Inquiry must examine:

- The impact on occupational health and safety,

- Community service obligations,

- The impact on rates of pay, conditions of employment, equal employment opportunity, together with the effects on job security and unemployment,

- The impact on rural and regional employment including the maintenance of local government as a strong and independent public employer,

- Economic and regional development,

- The effect on skill development and training.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 39 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Let Sleeping Dogs
Republican campaigner Jason Yat-Sen Li dusts off after Saturday’s vote. We ask him: where to now?
*  Republic: Readers Speak - Kerry the Face to Deface
We asked and you have spoken; Sydney heiress Kerry Jones is the Workers Online choice for desktop doodling, as the official winner of our Defacement of a Nation competition.
*  Economics: Understanding the Economy
Who was voted thinker of the millenium in a recent BBC Online poll? Karl Marx shooed it in. And another socialist, Albert Einsten, came second.
*  Unions: Come Fly Away!
With just four weeks to go, Labor Council's Organiser of the year Award is up for grabs. We've only had the one entry ...
*  Work/Time/Life: Better Times for Casuals in the Sunshine State
The Queensland Council of Unions has mounted a case in the Queensland IRC to increase wages for casual workers by up to $2.00 extra per hour.
*  International: All Black Fate Looms for New Zealand Right
The New Zealand economic experiment – for many years the cherished role model of the Australian Liberal Party – is just about to face an angry jury.
*  History: Who Remembers Egon Erwin Kisch?
Egon Erwin Kisch was a well known progressive journalist living in Germany when he was invited by the Australian branch of the world committee against war and fascism to speak at a conference in Melbourne in 1934.
*  Review: Bizarrism - Strange Lives, Cults, Celebrated Lunacy
The strange story of Donald Crowhurst or how to cheat and become a God.
*  Satire: Support Surges for Armenian Republic Model
The assassination by gun crazed extremists of the Armenian Prime Minister has been cautiously backed by Ted Mack and the Direct Electionist lobby as a possible new Republican model.

»  First Social Audit Win For Rural Road Workers
»  Y2K Bug Bites Rail Bookings
»  Strikes Hit Schools - Before and After Class
»  Olympic Uniforms Row Patched Up
»  Charges to be Laid Over Gretley Disaster
»  Jockeys Bucked On Compo
»  Wag the Dog - Bosses Try the Back Door Strip
»  Labour and Alliance Vow to Dump Contracts Act
»  Bank Workers Win $3000 Payment for New Years Eve
»  Union Organiser Thrown Off Bridge
»  Justice at Last for Waterfront Asbestos Victims
»  Timor Update: Positions Vacant; Upcoming Events.

»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Fall of Communism as foreseen in 1931
»  Reith an Error of Judgment
»  Republic Post Mortem
»  The Boston Strangler
»  SOS From New York
»  [email protected] - Wasn't it Satire?

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