Allan West

Victor Chang Institute

At the last meeting, Professor Bob Graham of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney quoted Aristotle: “Teachers are like midwives, giving birth to knowledge”. He spoke of the world-renowned work there, having carried out 1700 transplants costing $17 million annually, with only 55 per cent of funding now coming from the federal government. The $200 donation went to the institute.

Volunteers for north

Professor Julie James Bailey has again asked for tutors/teachers to volunteer in the Northern Territory for a minimum of four weeks. Contact: Email or phone (02) 9713 7218 or 0402 140 716.

Combined Retired Union Members Association

Ron Denham reported on the last meeting of the Combined Retired Union Members Association (CRUMA). The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is concerned about workers with 457 visas after two cranes were seen still operating in heavy rain at Wolli Creek; the CFMEU is in the process of recovering unpaid wages totalling $49.5m from over the last five years.

CRUMA supports theNurses and Midwives Association campaign to have Registered Nurses in all aged care facilities. CRUMA sent a resolution to the Reserve Bank, expressing concern that damaged paper money is not being accepted by banks. CRUMA resolved that, following an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that stated that the United States, the European Union, China and Brazil expressed doubt that the Australian Government’s actions would reduce carbon emissions to “5 per cent below its 2000 levels by 2020”, the government should resign. A member is concerned that robots at sea ports are threatening workers’ rights to work.

Sixteen delegates from CRUMA and Fair Go for Pensioners met a group of mainly cross-bench federal MPs and Senators to discuss indexation of pensions, aged care, reverse mortgages and privatisation of hearing aid services; Greens MP Adam Bandt said the Greens were calling for protecting the Male Average Weekly Total Earnings (MWATE) index and looking into the other issues that were raised. Liberal MP Lucy Wicks thought the Liberal-National Party policy was correct. MP Bob Katter of Katter’s Australian Party agreed to support all points. Senator John Madigan (independent) said he would support “fair and good ideas”.

Quality Aged Care Action Group

Shirley Bains reported that NSW was the only state insisting that nursing homes employ nurses; this was the safest practice and should be followed by all despite the wishes of owners of some nursing homes.

Friends of the ABC

Ray McDonald said things are going from bad to worse and implored members to join their local group. There is a current campaign against the SBS doubling advertisements, and he urged to write to their politicians about this issue.

The Conversation website suggests that $3.5m has been stripped from the previous year’s funding and that the government is dumbing down Australia. Don Morrison moved that a letter be sent to Labor leader Bill Shorten that the ALP should make it an election issue to abolish advertisements on SBS and replace their financial value with government funds and that it should also reinstate the funding of ABC and SBS at 2013 budget levels.

Australian Free Trade and Investment Network (AFTINet) Report

Ian Massingham reported that the AFTINet Forum at NSW Parliament House attracted 150 people; such forums condemning the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) were repeated worldwide, with a considerable number of articles in the national papers. It is believed this agreement is being conjured by the “coalition of the willing” to exert pressure on China and is being hurried before the United States’ 2016 election campaign begins this month, and that Republicans are against it.

The 12 partner countries agreed to the secrecy. Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicare, plain packaging of cigarettes and environment are jeopardised by the TPP.

The forum was also told that business groups are against it and want an independent assessment. The government has described AFTINet as a front for unions but the biggest supporters of AFTINet are the churches. Max Prince circulated an article in the Medical Journal of Australia expressing concern about the TPPA.

Pharmacy deregulation

Ray McDonald expressed concern about possible moves to deregulate pharmacies. This is a ploy to let Coles and Woolworths into the prescription drug market. He moved that RTA write to the federal government to deplore this move.

Save Our Public Education Heritage

This petition was signed by members and sent to NSWTF.

Allan West is the Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association and may be contacted on (02) 9484 5693. The RTA blogsite is

Social news

For more information, contact Allan West or connect to RTA blog or Federation’s website.

Wednesday, July 22: “Christmas in July” at Grandview Hotel, Wentworth Falls at 12.30pm, $35 each (Shirley Bains: (02) 4739 6596).
Tuesday, July 14: Luncheon 99 on York, 99 York Street, Sydney at noon.

For more information contact Geoff Amos by phone (02) 6922 5108 or email.

Tuesday August 18: Visit to Henty and Lockhart.

Next meetings

Friday, July 10 12.15pm lunch: 1pm speaker — University of Sydney History Department Associate Professor Richard White on “Six-bob-a-day tourists: World War I Diggers”; 2pm general meeting.

For more information contact Geoff Amos on email or phone (02) 6922 5108.

Tuesday, July 21 10.45am: at NSWTF, Weedon Chambers, corner of Gurwood and Trail streets, Wagga Wagga; speaker: Neil Wright, Australian Red Cross.

For information contact Elizabeth O’Hara on email or phone 0408 670684.

Monday August 31: at Armidale Bowling Club