News from the Retired Teachers Association

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News from the Retired Teachers Association

May 18, 2018

Continuing attacks on unions

The Combined Retired Union Members Association is seeking clarification from Unions NSW about the State Government’s decision to penalise union officials and unions for engaging in industrial action. Ron Denham reported that CRUMA supports the preservation of the Gardens of Stone National Park near Lithgow. CRUMA has also endorsed the Retired Teacher Association’s resolution to commend Labor for advocating an inquiry into vocational education.

Labor promises inquiry

Margaret De La Garde reported that the Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations’ recent meeting with Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Jenny Macklin included discussions on the CPI, means test rules and social benefit priorities. Labor has promised a “Living Wage Inquiry” if elected to government.

ACPSRO has sent its position paper on the consumer price index to Dr Andrew Leigh and he has no major disagreement with its arguments and recommendations.

Nursing home rooms

After the April meeting, the RTA sent a letter to NSW Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies calling for the abolition of shared bedrooms in nursing homes. Shirley Bains’ motion recognised that the dignity and wellbeing of residents in these homes can only be achieved if their personal space is respected. All residents are entitled to the basic human right of a room that they can regard as their own. The motion was carried unanimously.

Funding public schools

The association has again expressed concern to state and federal education ministers regarding funding inequities that affect public schools. Large amounts of public money are being poured into private schools while public schools often lack basic amenities. There appear to be few constraints on how some private schools spend the funds that they receive.

Wildlife forensics

Dr Matthew Lott, a scientist from the Australian Museum, presented an informative talk to members on the role of DNA-based forensics in the prosecution of crimes against the environment and wildlife. Current statistics show that wildlife crime is valued at $US200 billion annually worldwide.

Matthew outlined the functions of the museum in gathering and collating evidence against offenders and highlighted its extensive collection of species-related specimens and frozen tissues. The establishment of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has been a significant development but illegal trade is far from abolished. Dr Lott’s message was that we need to protect our resources as we have already lost too many.

Upcoming events

Our next two meetings in 2018 will be at Federation House on Friday, 8 June, and Friday, 13 July. Both meetings commence with lunch at 12.15pm, followed by a guest speaker at 1pm and conclude with a general meeting starting at 2pm.

There will be a guided tour of the NSW Botanic Gardens on Thursday, 31 May. The regular Club York luncheons are scheduled for 13 June and 18 July commencing at noon.

Paul Regan, Administrative Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association

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