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John Passant

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February 2012



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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)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Victorian nurses, Gillard and Rudd: class politics versus crass politics

Victorian nurses have defied a Fair Work Australia order to return to work and are continuing to walk off the job to win better pay and retention of the current nurse patient ratio.

Meanwhile in the Labor Party Gillard and Rudd, the two neoliberal nobodies, battle it out for leadership of the other party of capital.

Will electing either of these right wingers make any difference to the shift of wealth from labour to capital; to improving living standards of workers; to closing the gap and ending the racist Northern Territory intervention; to addressing climate change in a real and meaningful way; to better public education, public health, public transport; to ending our war of aggression in Afghanistan; to making the rich and big business pay their fair share of tax; to treating asylum seekers humanely; to winning gay marriage?

Not one iota of difference.

Can strike action by Victorian nurses win them better pay and retention of the current nurse patient rations? Yes it can. It has that possibility.

Months of talks with the Baillieu government got nowhere. The nurses’ walkout has focused the government’s attention, and that of the public, on the need for justice for nurses and to fund the public health system adequately.

It is of course against the law to defy a Fair Work Australia order and the nurses’ union could be fined if the hospitals or Government go to the Federal Court. From the way the hospital bosses are talking that is a real possibility.

We need to be clear about this. Nurses now not only have the opportunity to win their immediate demands but to smash fines’ under Labor’s Workchoices Lite or as some others call the Fair Work Act – ‘Fair’ Workchoices.

Don’t give in to the threat of fines. Nurses could refuse to pay them and call on other unions join them in strike action if any attempt is made to impose fines let alone collect them.

The farcical Punch and Judy show in Canberra is a consequence of the lack of fight from the trade union movement over the last 30 years. Victorian nurses are showing a different way, a better way, to win better pay and conditions and by doing that challenging the bosses’ industrial laws.

Nurses in Victoria can win their demands, if they keep the industrial action going. They could even defeat the Fair Work Act penal powers and strike restrictions.

The sideshow in Canberra won’t produce real change. Strikes can.



Comment from Seamus
Time February 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

I saw the nurses out the front of the Royal Melbourne last night, but I had to make an effort to find any mention of it in TheAge today.

While I was digging I also found this little gem tucked away,

The State education minister conspiring to make it easier for Principals to fire “under performing” teachers without due process.

Class warfare is alive and well while the propaganda machine beats us over the head with leadership inanity.

Comment from billie
Time February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Glory! after completing 10 years of contract employment, schools should know if the teacher is competent. You only have problems firing permanent teachers and in Victoria pricipals have been in charge of hiring their staff for the past 20 years.

I can’t imagine there is an incompetent teacher in permanent employment. Contract teachers can be sacked at the end of their contract ie 10 weeks or 6 months. I can believe that there are teachers who are disliked by the management.

This is plain old teacher bashing!

Comment from John
Time February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I wondered what you were referring to billie. It’s the link in the previous post, not my article. Phew.

Pingback from En Passant » Hands off our nurses, Baillieu and Gillard!
Time March 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

[…] Readers might also like to look at Victory to Victorian nursesĀ and Victorian nurses, Gillard and Rudd: class politics versus crass politics. […]

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