Monday, March 08, 2004

Grand Prix and a quality education

The bold text below is from the AEU Victorian Branch page and contains the resolution voted on at the stopwok meeting. There was some'debate' over the details and some other crazy amendment but nothing very interesting. Although one fellow wanted stronger action and said that this action would not accomplish much - that it had been done before and basically would not work.

I must say that I wonder about the effacacy of strike action too. Certainly in terms of keeping the public's support of teachers and their 'cause'. Kosky (state ed minister) has been using the 'extravagant' holidays that teachers get as a wedge to incite public support of her refusal to grant a 'fairer' del for teachers. Once again there is little talk of working conditions and the other deeper problems that schools face.

Of course there continues to be plenty of media coverage - often supporting Kosky's extravagant holidays rant. There has been some exceptions though. Kenneth Davidsonof course notes that the Bracks' Government seems more intent to provide the masses with entertainment (i.e. the grand prix) than with quality education. I'm reminded of some interesting parallels in the film Gladiator, where the emperor uses bloodlust games to turn the attention of the people away from the real issues and problems of the Roman Government.

March 3 Stopwork decision
04 March 2004

On March 3 AEU members at the stopwork meeting(s) unanimously endorsed the following resolution.

"That this meeting of AEU teachers and principals expresses its anger and dismay at the Bracks Government's negotiating position over a new certified agreement for schools. This meeting notes that the Government's position has not changed in the seven months of negotiations, is worse than the current agreement, amounts to a worsening of working conditions and is an effective salary cut.

This meeting calls on Minister Kosky to personally intervene in the negotiations to ensure that they are consistent with the Government's claim that education is its number one priority.

Further this meeting puts the Government on notice that if an agreement is not reached by the end of the first school term, the AEU will embark on a series of half day rolling regional stoppages which target Labor MP's offices where possible, commencing in the second week of term two. A further 24 hour statewide stopwork meeting to be held early in term three to assess the campaign and plan further action.

That in the lead up to the rolling regional action, Regional Campaign Committees be asked to schedule meetings with Labor Members of Parliament and ALP Branches to seek support for the AEU claim, informing them of the impending campaign in the event of agreement not being reached.

That Regional Campaign Committees meet to plan publicity/activities to be undertaken in conjunction with the rolling regional stoppages. That the AEU prepare a comprehensive media campaign to complement the regional stopworks. Further that sub-branches continue to implement bans on Victorian ALP politicians visiting schools and the bans on the Department of Education and Training. That these bans be extended to include a ban on any online training required by DE&T.

The following timetable of half day rolling regional stopworks be endorsed (Timetable attached)."

So there you have it - more to come. Who knows what will happen.


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