The Guardian • Issue #2102


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2102

This week’s target of US aggression and interventions since the end of WW2 is the Philippines 1945-53: The US military fought against leftist forces (Huks) even while the Huks were still fighting against the Japanese invaders. After the war, the US continued its fight against the Huks, defeating them, and then installing a series of puppets as President, culminating in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

On monopoly: In 2004 the Australian dairy industry produced 11 billion litres of raw milk, by 2014 it was 9.3 billion and today 8.3 billion. The dairy industry is now dominated by the big four – Bega (Australia) Saputo (Canadian), Fonterra (New Zealand), and Lactalis (French). Together they represent 80 per cent of the nation’s milk processing.

Teachers and school support staff at Ipswich Girls Grammar School (IGGS) took stopwork action on 4 June. It is the first strike action taken by employees in the school’s history and comes as staff continue their campaign for better working conditions.

The unprecedented action by Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) Branch members is the result of the school employer’s failure to listen to key employee concerns. Staff are seeking action on three key issues – a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) payment, a new automatic step for experienced teachers, and flexible access to leave.

IEU-QNT organiser Andrew Elphinstone said taking any form of protected industrial action, especially strike action, was always a last resort for union members.

“Taking such action is the last thing IEU-QNT members at IGGS want, but their employer has left them no other choice,” Elphinstone said. “Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School promotes that values like respect are at the heart of its school community. So why isn’t the school respecting its teachers and support staff and their working conditions? Instead of listening to staff concerns, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School is ignoring the voice of employees.”

The strike action comes after IEU-QNT members at IGGS began their first tranche of protected industrial actions on 20 May. These protected industrial actions include employees not attending staff meetings (except those related to staff and student safety) and not being available for any work on scheduled breaks.

Elphinstone said the employer’s response to IEU-QNT members taking these low-level actions – including simply taking their lunch break – was to dock their pay. “These are the kinds of tactics big businesses employ against their workers – not what we expect to see a school employer doing to their staff. If IGGS wants to live its values of respect, we call on them as the employer to come back to the bargaining table ready to address employees’ concerns.”

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Israel. The following is from a Statement, National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba (Nakba: ‘Day of catastrophe’ for the Palestinian people, marking the establishment of the state of Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinian people, 1948.):

Michaela Settle called it “a matter of fairness” for kids and lovers of learning to have a strong regional university, adding that a great uni degree “shouldn’t depend on where you live.” She urged the Ballarat community “to support Fed Uni staff and the unions fighting for their rights.”

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