Comment and Analysis

Casual teachers among the most exploited professions

Teaching is one of the lowest-paid professions and casual relief teachers (CRTs) are among the most marginalised and exploited workers in Victoria.

Our daily pay rate is $293. Think that sounds good? Well, there are about 200 teaching days a year. If we were to work every one of those days, we would still earn less than $60,000 a year — that is the maximum pay we can expect, after a minimum of four years at university.

But we are emergency teachers; we can expect to work, at most, about 100 days. That is less than $30,000 a year.

Government 'employment' programs leave people hungry

Earlier this month, Department of Employment figures about the government's remote Work for the Dole scheme proved what critics have known for some time: the policy is failing. In Arnhem Land, people are buying less food since tough Work for the Dole penalties were introduced.

Orlando vigils stand against homophobia and Islamophobia

LGBTI communities everywhere are reeling from the loss of the 49 people gunned down in the Orlando nightclub Pulse. In addition, 53 were injured.

Some of them no doubt are deeply missed by their families. Even worse, as is true in many LGBTI communities, some of them would have lost their family ties years ago. The other patrons at the Pulse nightclub may have been the only family they had.

Activists protest refugee conditions in Melbourne's detention centre

About 20 protesters demonstrated in front of the Melbourne Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on June 6 over allegations of asylum seeker mistreatment. Police presence was described by observers as extremely heavy, ranging from two dozen to fifty officers.

After Orlando: Let's not respond to hate crime with more hate crime

I caught a taxi this morning. Muslim taxi driver. We listened to the radio silently, side by side all the way, ABC News. Almost all of it, relentlessly, consisted of quotes about the evils of Islam, from lengthy Trump and Clinton quotes to a rationalised discussion about indefinite imprisonment for those with radical views in our own country.

We sat, rigid with embarrassment, with nothing to say. All I could think was that this was 10 minutes out of my day, but it was going to be repeated over and over again for him. And still I had nothing to say.

Carpenters versus billionaires

Is there anything more wretched and dishonest than the suggestion by pro-capitalist media commentators that any attempt by working people to claw back a fraction of the wealth they create every day represents the "politics of envy"?

It is even more poisonous when coupled with an effort to breed resentment towards fellow workers who have managed to fight for and win better wages and conditions that others. An example is the crass attempt to whip up outrage about Victorian construction workers winning a 15% wage rise over three years.

Aboriginal people vow to stop nuclear waste dumps

In the plans of governments in Adelaide and Canberra, South Australia is to become the country’s “nuclear waste dump state”.

Most South Australians remain sceptical. And among the state’s Aboriginal population — on whose ancestral lands the dumps would be located — opposition to the scheme is rock-solid.

“It’s very simple and easy to understand,” Aboriginal activist Regina McKenzie told Green Left Weekly on May 24. “No means no!”

In the plans of governments in Adelaide and Canberra, South Australia is to become the country's “nuclear waste dump state”.

Refugee crisis, activism and alternatives

In May 1939 the St Louis, carried 935 Jews seeking asylum from Nazi Germany. Many countries refused to let them in, including the US, which used coast guard ships to stop the St Louis from docking. Eventually they were forced to return to Europe, and most of the passengers died in the Holocaust they were fleeing.

Sydney rally declares Mike Baird is on the nose

This banker-premier's salesman's smile has well and truly worn thin. The Mike Baird Coalition government of New South Wales is on the nose.

The mood of the thousands of people who marched on NSW Parliament House on May 29 recalled the mounting public rejection of former prime minister Tony Abbott expressed by the March In March movement in 2014. Abbott dismissed March In March as insignificant but by September the following year he was history.

When you pay the piper you get to call the tune

When donations to political parties from property developers in NSW were prohibited by then-NSW Labor premier Nathan Rees in November 2009 the decision was not well received by significant groupings in the state Labor and Liberal parties.

The ban followed an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry into Wollongong City Council which, in 2008, found that local developers had received favourable treatment from elected councillors and staff.

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