Plea for Gonski funding
Enid Hokin moved that the NSW RTA call on the new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to demonstrate that his government really is a government for the 21st century by making the money available to fund the Gonski program in public schools for years five and six.
The AEU has 18 Gonski Co-ordinators; eight in the NSW marginal electorates of Banks, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Lindsay, Macquarie, Page and Reid).
The NSW Government has promised funding for six years; the Federal Government has only promised four years of funding.
Visiting Gonski Coordinators Christine Paulinich and Jessie Wotton described how they encourage schools — principals, teachers, parents, students — to be involved in the Gonski initiatives, revealing needs and reporting stories on the effect of the funding.
We thank the NSW Government for its whole-hearted support.
At our September 11 meeting, Terry Jones introduced James Supple, Refugee Action Coalition, speaking on the refugee situation in Australia and what we can do. His $200 donation will go to the Asylum Seeker Centre.
TAFE — the future?
At our October 9 meeting, Terry introduced AEU Federal TAFE Secretary Pat Forward. TAFE has incurred a 26 per cent decline in government recurrent funding since 2004. There are more than 4000 private providers now dominating VET provision. Pat urged us to join the campaign at www.stoptafecuts.com.au. Her $200 donation went to APHEDA.
Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations (ACPSRO) report Margaret De La Garde attended the ACPSRO AGM in Canberra on October 5. Ron Dean retired as president and Richard Griffiths was elected. John Coleman is Vice President. The priorities for 2016 will be considering a fairer indexation of pensions, the 10 per cent cap grandfathering of current pensions and taxation.
Combined Retired Union Members Association (CRUMA) report
The September 21 meeting of the CRUMA was the Retired Unionists’ Call to Action at Unions NSW, Sussex Street, Sydney.
Stella Topaz, Nurses and Midwives Association, said nursing homes are not for a lifestyle change; she said a survey of doctors, healthcare workers and the general public on keeping registered nurses in nursing homes registered 80 per cent in favour of this.
National Parks and Wildlife spokesman said the environment within National Parks is in a shambles; the NSW Government has a delegation in China looking for a buyer for the Jenolan Caves complex; pristine limestone caves near Carcoar, within a national park, are to be flooded.
Retired unionists are to be organised to campaign in the marginal federal electorates of Banks, Dobell, Robertson, Lindsay, Macquarie, Page, Gilmore, Eden-Monaro and Reid.
Syrians yes — bombing no
Enid Hokin moved that the RTA applaud the Federal Government’s decision to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees. At the same time we condemn the decision to bomb Syria, a decision that will inevitably create greater instability. Syria has enormous internal problems that cannot be bombed away.
State Super must divest
Barbara McGregor moved that RTA write to State Super, asking it to follow the lead of First State Super and divest from companies with interests in fossil fuels. We would be very pleased to meet State Super management with the inclusion of 350.org, an environment-conscious non-government organisation.
Any RTA member turning 80 in 2015 is entitled to a cake. Give your details to Therese on (02) 9519 8609.
Praise for diagnostic tool
Patricia Campbell-Hardwick referred to the Sydney Morning Herald article (page 2, September 11), “Psychopath test made for toddlers” and moved that RTA thank Eva Kimonis, senior lecturer at the University of NSW for developing a diagnostic tool showing very young children displaying callous and unemotional traits linked to psychotherapy.
Opposition to cuts to penalty rates
Enid Hokin moved that the NSW RTA fully supports the ACTU’s campaign to oppose any cuts to penalty rates for workers. Workers are absolutely entitled to these payments. We advise Bill Shorten that the rates are not paid so workers can pay their children’s school fees; while it might be outside Mr. Shorten’s experience, the overwhelming majority of workers send their children to public schools.
Friends of the ABC
Several RTA members attended the Friends of the ABC (FABC) annual dinner on September 2. ABC Managing Director Mark Scott had a family emergency and was replaced, as speaker, by Richard Findlayson, director of TV Production. Mal Hewitt asked that more members join FABC at $20 a year. Newington College held an Ethics Lecture with speaker Monica Attard, the former ABC Moscow correspondent, who pointed out that there is no one representing the ABC in Russia now.
Allan West is the Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association (rtansw.blogspot.com) and can be contacted on (02) 9484 5693.