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February 2006   

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.


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…


Total Impact
The long hot summer, the calm before the storm, is finally passed; and as March 1 approaches the new world of work is looming and the extent of the attack on organised labour is becoming clear.


 Capital Punishment on the Menu

 Della Builds Fortress NSW

 Unfair Sackings Face Challenge

 Slave Contractors Sprung

 Holden's Bad Deal for Adelaide

 ACCI Never Sleeps

 STOP PRESS: Guest Worker Plan Goes to Water

 Taking a Punt on Melbourne Cup

 Backlash on Job Cuts

 Howard Coy on Ad Orgy

 Newcastle Rails Against Contracts

 Union Man Eyes Cuts

 Free Enterprise Kills Hundreds

 Aussie Icon Moves to China

 Activist's What's On!

 The Best for the Best
 Belated Merry Whatmas?
 The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
 I Think Therefore I Scam
 A Taxing Answer
 Leslie John Turner
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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.

The 'No AWA - No Job' deal exposes the Howard Government's claim that working conditions are protected under its Workplace Relations reforms as little more than PR spin.

Under the Howard Government's Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) universities must offer staff an Australian Workplace Agreement.

Federal Labor opposed the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) in Parliament, warning that they will lead to workers being left with no choice but to sign an AWA which cuts their working conditions.

Anyone who wants a job at Ballarat University will see first hand that Labor's concerns were well founded. New staff are not given a choice to sign an AWA, they either sign up or they can't have the job.

Despite spending $55 million of taxpayers money on spin and party political advertising, the AWA-only jobs at Ballarat University show the Howard Government's 'WorkChoices' are no choice at all.

This is the reality which thousands more Australian employees will face in coming years.

The Howard Government's extreme industrial relations agenda is all about robbing Australian employees of their choices, stripping them of their hard-won entitlements and could leave them with the option of signing a collective agreement without the representation of a union.

This is John Howard's most overt attack on working people yet. And yet another attempt by the Howard Government to limit union representation in the workplace.

Ballarat University staff have been exposed to the Howard Government's real IR agenda through the new Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) which;

* remove restrictions on casualisation,

* remove restrictions on use of fixed term contracts, with significant impact on protection of entitlements such as long service leave and severance benefits,

* remove protections on the size of the workforce and replacement of staff, which impacts on security of employment and,

* remove procedures for performance management and dispute resolution, which protect both employers and employees.

The Howard Government has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding if the universities do not comply with its extreme industrial relations agenda. It has assigned inspectors from the Department of Education, Science and Training to go over any agreements in place at Australian universities to make sure they comply with the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs). Non compliance means a loss of funding.

DEST officials in Canberra have already been telling universities what can and cannot be included in their workplace agreements. The Howard Government has been re-writing agreements to remove protection of entitlements for staff and cut out their unions.

Federal Labor exposed the Howard Government's agenda in November 2005 when it released leaked sections of the draft Workplace Agreements for Deakin and Central Queensland Universities. The comments by DEST inspectors instruct the universities to delete paragraphs guaranteeing workers would not be forced to sign AWAs from the agreements.

This legislation has nothing to do with education, it is an open attack on the hard-won working conditions of university staff and the union officials that represent them.

Australian workers are about to find out about 'No AWA - No Job', unfortunately for Ballarat University staff, they already know all about it.


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