La Trobe backs down on suspension

Danica Cheesley In a victory for student activism, La Trobe University has backed down from its attempts to punish students who organised protests on campus last year. In opposition to a planned $10 million of cuts to the humanities faculty, students organised a campaign that included mass staff and student meetings, rallies and occupations on campus. This campaign forced the university to back down from some of the cuts i...CONTINUE READING

Old school unionism at Sydney Uni

Alma Torlakovic Until this year, Sydney University hadn’t had a real strike since 2003. Traditionally, the NTEU has not put effort into building them. Pickets have involved a dozen members handing out leaflets at the entrances, as hordes of staff and students enter the campus. But things are changing. Staff have responded to serious attacks on working conditions with four strikes. One of the key issues is the right of the...CONTINUE READING

NTEU barganing update

Robin Laycock University staff enterprise agreements across Australia have expired and are now being renegotiated. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is trying to win better pay and conditions for university staff. In many cases, staff have had no pay rise for 12 months or more, with most university managements refusing even to make a wage offer. At La Trobe University, the “administrative pay rise” given by ma...CONTINUE READING

Don’t waste $1 million on the Greens

Roz Ward At the time of writing, a special meeting of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) National Council is to decide whether to commit $1 million to the Greens’ and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s election campaigns. The union leadership seems to be convinced that this is the right thing for the union to do. It is an action that will do nothing for the members of the union, funnelling money that could be...CONTINUE READING

Shoppies rank and file rally against homophobic leadership

Duncan Hart Recent news linking the Queensland branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to a conservative religious organisation, the Ambrose Society for Religious Freedom, has sparked unprecedented protest among rank and file members of the retail workers’ union. Officials of the SDA, Australia’s biggest trade union, have used their political clout to campaign against marriage equality,...CONTINUE READING

Solidarity has no borders

Steph Price At a Melbourne port stop-work meeting on 28 May, independence activist Ronny Kareni spoke to members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) about the situation in West Papua. He described the lived reality of the Papuan people under Indonesian military occupation. He talked about the ban on foreign journalists and the ongoing violence faced by workers and human rights activists. He detailed the blood that...CONTINUE READING

Paramedics deserve more

Phoebe Kelloway “Most trusted profession … least respected by our gov’t – highest trained, lowest paid ambos in Aus!!” and “Fix it Denis!!!” say some of the handwritten signs on Victorian ambulance doors, displaying paramedics’ frustration at protracted enterprise bargaining negotiations. Victorian Ambulance paramedics are paid $25,000 less than their interstate peers. Premier Denis Napthine is refusing them a decent pay r...CONTINUE READING

Prisons on platforms

Roz Ward Remember when stations in Victoria were places where you would wait for a train? Not anymore. Despite there being no increase in levels of crime, train stations are fast becoming a playground for the law and order Liberals and their uniformed thugs. The changes started two years ago when the state government announced it would introduce more than 900 protective service officers (PSOs). PSOs are non-police o...CONTINUE READING