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John Passant

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April 2010
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Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Canberra Labor Government directs its workers to scab on teachers

Here in Canberra local Labor Party Education Minister Andrew Barr has threatened teachers who impose any NAPLAN test bans with the loss of four hours pay under Rudd’s workchoices law, the Fair Work Act. Can somebody explain to me again what exactly the difference is between Labor and the Liberals?

The Australian Education Union’s response does not inspire confidence. Rather than threatening to take on Labor’s anti-worker laws and escalate the dispute if teachers are fined, the Union has muttered that the action might not be subject to the Fair Work laws. 

Don’t muck around with legalities. Use your industrial strength to defeat Labor’s attacks on teachers. Otherwise Labor and the courts will screw you.

Barr is also trying to organise scabs to break the teachers’ bans on supervising NAPLAN tests. Typical of what the ALP has now become – a bosses’ party.

Barr has promised to use exterior exam providers and called on teachers who are not union members to scab on the ban.

He will direct public servants in the Education Department to supervise the tests. This Labor party Minister has threatened those staff who refuse to obey his direction with action under the ACT’s Public Sector Management Act for refusing to obey a lawful and reasonable direction.

The penalties range from fines, loss of pay all the way to dismissal.

The Community and Public Sector Union covers employees in the Education Department. It is at the moment fighting with the Canberra Labor Government over a pay increase and job cuts.

The Stanhope Labor Government has frozen recruitment. Separations are running over 5 percent per annum and the Government expects the same amount of work from a falling number of workers.

The Government has offered its workers a pay increase that will be less than inflation over the next two years.

So it is cutting jobs and wages, and now is ordering some of those overworked and underpaid staff to scab on teachers.

The CPSU has been silent on the issue.

The union should strike for higher pay on the same day this Scab Labor Government tries to break the teachers’ ban on NAPLAN testing. Such a strike is protected action because it is during the bargaining period.

Of course the CPSU leadership is the plaything of Labor politicians.

The union affiliated to Labor to supposedly influence their decision but the only beneficiary to date has been National Secretary Stephen Jones who has been parachuted into the safe Labor seat of Throsby for the next federal election.

Bugger the membership, I’ve got a seat in Parliament. In fact the price of the seat was buggering the membership for Labor.

Local Labor only survives as a minority Government with the support of the Greens.  The time has come for the Canberra Greens to show they support the teachers. They could threaten to bring down the Government if Labor organises scabs against the teachers. 

Will they? If not then why be a member of such an unprincipled and spineless organisation?

And to all those good Labor Party members, why waste your time in such a reactionary organisation that actively organises scabs against teachers? 

We socialists don’t scab. We don’t attack jobs and wages. We don’t lock up asylum seekers. We fight for a better world for all, not just the bosses.  

Maybe it’s time for those who want real and progressive social change to desert the Labor Party and the Greens and consider the largest grouping of the revolutionary left in Australia, Socialist Alternative .



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Comment from Shane H
Time April 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm

How big is SAlt these days? Bigger than DSP/SA or RSP?

Comment from John
Time April 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

I think so Shane. The DSP no longer exists. They folded in to Socialist Alliance which in my view is not a revolutionary organisation.

Comment from paul walter
Time April 25, 2010 at 2:52 am

Gillard has nothing to be proud of, re this.
Very sad to see.