Monday, February 23, 2009

Communist Party elects new General Secretary

The Communist Party of Australia last weekend elected a new leadership after the death of long time General Secretary Peter Symon. The Party has for the first time elected a woman to the position of Party General Secretary, well known political activist and former Party President Dr. Hannah Middleton.

Dr. Middleton was elected unanimously to the Party’s highest leadership position. Guatemalan born West Australian trade unionist Vinnie Molina was elected as the CPA’s new National President. For the first time in two decades the Party elected a National Organiser Denis Doherty.

“This election signals a process of renewal and reinvigoration for the Communist Party”, said Central Committee Chairperson Warren Smith.

“Capitalism is undergoing yet another severe crisis and the people of Australia are looking for answers to why their jobs are being lost and why their savings and their hard earned superannuation contributions are going down the gurgler. They are questioning the greed and dysfunction inherent in the capitalist system.

“In the CPA’s view the government should create a national superannuation fund and a nationally owned bank.”

The Party is riding a wave at present with the recently announced registration of the Communist Alliance of which the CPA is a member. “Registration of the Communist Alliance will allow the name Communist to appear on Australian federal ballot papers.”

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Capitalist greed on display in bushfire aftermath

While there have been great stories of altruism and generosity from the Australian people in the wake of the recent bushfires, a Victorian nursing home has apparently forced one of it's staff, a CFA volunteer, to use annual leave days and pay for the time spent fighting the fires. Click here to read the report on the ABC's news site.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

South African Communists send condolences after bushfires

Dear Comrades,

The South African Communist Party is deeply shocked at the enormous loss of lives in wildfires across Australia. We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to all families of the victims, in which it is believed that close to 200 people, have died.

Whilst the cause of the fires is yet to be ascertained, we are hopeful that more profound measures regarding environmental disaster awareness, climate change, early warning systems will be put in place.

The SACP would be pleased by a demonstration of deep national unity and a mobilisation of all efforts towards urgent rescue operations, saving lives as a priority, with comprehensive medical treatment of the injured, shelter, transport and the provision of basics.

It would be a fitting memory to those who lost their lives if the state takes a proactive lead and do more than adequate, assisted by an alert international community in providing humanitarian and other interventions, subdue and eliminate the fires and the normalization of peoples lives.

Our deepest sympathies to all those who lost their loved ones.

Blade Nzimande
General Secretary
South African Communist Party

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

New series of The Guardian Podcast begins

The first episode of our new series of podcasts is available in the box widget on the right of this page. In this first episode for 2009 we speak with CPA State Secretary Bob Briton on the recent bushfires in Victoria.

You can stream the podcast in the player or you can download to your computer. If you're an iTunes user you can subscribe to the podcast here.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Support South Australian Public Schools

The Australian Education Union (AEU) is running a sophisticated community campaign in an attempt to stop the State Government cutting vital funds to public schools. SA Premier Mike Rann, the self-dubbed "Education Premier", is now running the state with the worst paid teachers and education support staff. In what is effectively a wage freeze, South Australian public education workers have not seen an increase in pay since the beginning of October 2007.

This is in stark contrast with almost all other State and Territory governments who have succumbed to public pressure and an ever-increasing rate of inflation and offered substantial improvements to pay and conditions. Inflation for most of 2008 ran at approximately 5.2 percent. Despite this, Mike "Education" Rann and his team of inept Ministers have made every excuse under the sun in order to keep their offer well below CPI.

The AEU is also seriously concerned about a new funding model touted by the State Government as "student-centred". This couldn't be further from the truth. The funding model proposed would see schools allocated funds on a per-capita basis. While this may sound reasonable or even sensible, the model is seriously flawed.

Currently school staffing is based on enrolment numbers rather than a per-student dollar amount. For example, say the maximum class size is 30 and due to a new enrolment a class gains an extra student. Because that class now exceeds the maximum allowable number of students, the class will be split and become two classes. Under the Government's propsed model, each student will come with a dollar figure attached, somewhere between $2500 and $10,000 dollars - with the average likely to be between four and five thousand dollars. In order to fund a new teacher, a class would need to gain at least ten students before there is enough money available for the school to hire a new teacher.

So, as you can see, the Rann funding model just doesn't add up. Media Mike and his cronies have done a stellar job painting the current dispute as one based on salaries. They have gone to great lengths to label the teachers' claim as greedy and fanciful. Despite their best efforts, the AEU has struggled to defeat the government media spin. The new campaign is a bold and sophisticated attempt at countering Rann's rantings with a web and advertising based campaign in the community.

Click here to go the Apple for Teacher website. When you arrive, click on the links on the right-hand side of the page in order to sign the petition and send an e-apple to the four key government ministers. Oh, and don't be surprise when you receive a message from so-called Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith telling you that it's not her problem. Her stock email response states that the dispute sits outside the Education portfolio and to direct all correspondence to Industrial Relations Minister Paul Caica. Such is the value this government places on our children's futures.

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