Calling all retiring teachers
ACTU policy dictates that Federation members have only six months to join the RTA. Contact Federation to join. You are welcome at Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Armidale meetings.
Ron Denham reported on the last meeting of the Combined Retired Union Members Association (CRUMA). The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union organised a rally outside the Indonesian Embassy to support Indonesian waterfront workers who are on strike.
The Maritime Union of Australia reported that Australia will soon become the largest exporter of liquefied petroleum gas in the world; this, along with other resources, was stolen from the Indigenous people of Australia.
CRUMA referred to the terms of Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests”, saying it must remain part and parcel of the terms of all industrial legislation passed by the parliament of the nation of Australia.
CRUMA further objects to any restriction on right of entry to workplaces.
Ron referred to an email from the ACTU titled “Pension changes and impacts” that states the government will make savings of $4.5 billion.
Allan West read a precis of information sent from Canberra. At the December 6 meeting of the Australian Public Sector Retiree Organisations (ACPSRO), Ian Thomas spoke about CPI indexation, using this example: indexation, in periods of rapid technological change, might cater well for someone keen to replace an old burned-out toaster with one that has more modern features but is not helpful for someone who just wants a like-for-like replacement as shops only have a range of “improved” models.
The rapidity of technological change and obsolescence is forcing us to replace much gadgetry more frequently than before, before it is actually worn out, thus involving more cost to the consumer. Does CPI adjust for this? Those who have not embraced the technological age are finding themselves increasingly marginalised.
The ACPSRO should keep plugging away at indexation. Those of us who have been reliant on CPI adjustments for 20 years or more see that it has not kept pace with general living standards.
Recent commentary suggests that current sluggishness in wages growth might be holding back the economy (and tax revenues for the government). Former public sector employees are having to cut back on expenditure due to both CPI indexation and government efforts to cut back supplementation of the age pension.
Ewan Hazell, a Canberra ACPSRO member, passed away on November 16.
Ian Massingham reported from the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINet) meeting that although the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) trade pact might be counted as dead, marking the end to US imperialism, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the trade agreement with China, looms. China is the largest trading partner for 120 of 190 countries.
The Trade in Service Agreement, involving privatisation of business, has been put on hold.
State Super meeting
Following our April 4 meeting last year, RTA will pursue a follow-up meeting early this year, to explore the possibility of State Super divesting from firms involved in fossil fuels.
Praise for Piccoli
Enid Hokin moved that the NSW RTA places on record its appreciation of the former minister for education, Adrian Piccoli’s support and advocacy for Gonski.
The RTA, through Therese Medhurst, distributed seven Lions Club Christmas cakes to octogenarian members and five to Federation staff who support us at our meetings during the year.
Darlington PS visit
The Junior Choir (K-Year 2) of Darlington PS visited us at lunchtime and presented Christmas carols and songs. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to speak to them and give them a bag of treats. Max Prince gave Georgina, their music teacher, a cheque for $200 for the school. We thank Ian Massingham, driver, and Margaret De La Garde, navigator, for their assistance.
Following up on an invitation, the RTA will contribute an article to the Australian Teacher journal.
Allan West is the Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association