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Report raises serious questions about Independent Public Schools policy

An independent report released today by researchers from the Curtin Graduate School of Business, exposes an agenda of cost-cutting and the shifting of risk and accountability, behind the State Government’s so called Independent Public Schools (IPS) “initiative.”

The report provides evidence that self-managing schools open the way for greater privatisation of the education system, increase the workload of education staff, undermine teaching by increasing administration, and most importantly, do not improve overall student learning outcomes.

 
Anti-privatisation campaign update

United Voice and the Health Services Union are continuing their campaign against the Barnett Government’s plans to privatise our hospitals. The Barnett Government has chosen Serco as the preferred tender to privately manage over 30 essential services at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, including cleaning, record keeping, and sterilisation of instruments.

A month ago the unions announced the discovery of a report by an independent UK inspectorate into a hospital in Scotland run by Serco. During that inspection 6 of the 8 wards failed basic hygiene standards.

 
Australia says YES to putting a price on carbon

It was great to see so many people at the Perth rally calling for a price on carbon on Sunday the 5th of June! 3000 people attended the Perth event with 45,000 people attending similar rallies held in capital cities around Australia.

Thank you to all the unions who attended to show their support.

CC_rally_Perth_110605_web_2

From the Perth rally

 
Lowest paid workers get a $19.40 wage rise, but still not enough to bridge gap

Today’s decision by Fair Work Australia to grant a 3.4% increase to the one in six workers who are dependent on awards will allow Australia’s lowest paid workers to keep pace with the cost of living, but not with the rest of the workforce.

The Annual Wage Review decision will lift the National Minimum Wage by $19.40 a week to $589.30 or $15.51 an hour from 1 July, and means that in real terms, the minimum wage has finally recovered from WorkChoices.

A decision on the WA state wage case is expected next week.

 
Use mining boom to support future

Article from The Australia by Tony Maher (national president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union):

It's no secret that mining is big business. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released last week listed the mining sector as having the biggest profit margin of any Australian industry at 33.4 per cent. In the financial year ending 2010, mining companies earned $1.06 million a worker again, higher than any other industry.

Fuelled by the industrial revolutions in India and China, Australia's boom is bound to continue to grow for at least the next three decades. Eventually it will end. If we are smart, we will have something substantial to show for it.

 
Australia says YES to putting a price on carbon pollution!

It was great to see so many people at the Perth rally calling for a price on carbon on Sunday the 5th of June! 3000 people attended the Perth event with 45,000 people attending similar rallies held in capital cities around Australia.

Thank you to all the unions who attended to show their support.

CC_rally_Perth_110605_web_2

Photos from the Perth rally


 
State budget slashes public sector funding

While the State Government was busy promoting its increase in funding to the non-profit sector in last week’s state budget, it was far quieter about its plans to slash public sector spending by more than $800 million.

This will be done through $300 million worth of cuts to public sector programs and a further 5% “efficiency dividend” for Government Trading Enterprises such as Water Corp and Homeswest,  amounting to an expected $515 million funding cut. A large portion of the cuts are expected to be met by reducing wage costs and shedding jobs.

Unions have strongly rejected Treasurer Christian Porter’s assertion that the cuts will not undermine services. UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said Porter’s statement was completely without evidence. “It is entirely unbelievable that you can cut programs, staff numbers and pay without impacting on service standards.

 
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