Paul Regan

Have you recently retired from teaching?

The Retired Teachers Association provides an opportunity for you to maintain an involvement in public education and offers regular social outings to places of interest, exhibitions and lunches. Contact Federation for further details.

CRUMA report

Ron Denham outlined the Combined Retired Union Members Association’s (CRUMA) recent meeting that condemned the NSW Government’s proposal to not assess 99 per cent of new industrial chemicals being released into the environment. CRUMA is concerned industry superannuation funds are now under direct threat from the Turnbull Government.

AFTINet report

During the October Sydney RTA meeting, Ian Massingham reported that while global trade has been a positive force worldwide, questions must be raised as to exactly who benefits and who doesn’t. It is the role of national governments to ensure such benefits are redistributed equitably. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINet) revealed 11 countries recently met in Japan to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

ACPSRO report

Margaret De La Garde presented a report from the annual meeting of the Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations (ACPSRO). The group is focused on nominating priorities and developing strategies for 2017-2018. Discussion points included the inadequacies of the CPI as a tool for determining pension and superannuation increases as well as the continuing 10 per cent cap issue. ACPSRO plans to have more meetings with politicians at federal and state levels.

Attack on unions

Free and independent unions are a crucial part of our political, economic and social landscapes. In the September RTA meeting, Glynnis Brown’s motion suggested the Federal Government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill is part of a smear campaign aimed at unions. Her advice that it should be strongly resisted was unanimously supported. Members wonder whether such laws would ever be applied to big business.

NAPLAN developments

During the October meeting, Anne-Marie Kestle raised serious concerns about robots being used to mark NAPLAN tests. How will the strategy of “double marking” (machine marking followed by teacher marking) operate and how can it be more efficient and accurate? The writing component of NAPLAN assessments presents obvious difficulties when employing such a strategy.

Goat Island visit

A large group of RTA members visited Goat Island on 7 September. A skilled guide accompanied the group around the island and gave us important information on its history and features of early settlement. Goat Island has served as a home for convict work groups, a storage depot for gunpowder, the site of the first water police station and harbour fire brigade, a shipyard and, more recently, a venue for films and concerts. The views from Goat Island were breathtaking.

Cochlear implant program

On 9 October, Sydney RTA members gathered at the Old Gladesville Hospital site to learn about this important program which has dramatically changed so many people’s lives. Director of Services Bart Cavalletto spoke about the program’s development, those people who can be helped by a cochlear implant and how changes in technology have led to huge improvements in both the size and capabilities of the devices now being used.

Fantastic speakers

RTA monthly meetings are preceded by great guest speakers. In September, Gay Hendrikson, in her role as president of the Female Factory Friends group, addressed our members at Federation House.

Gay spoke about the female factories that existed in Australia in the 1800s and the Parramatta site in particular. The Parramatta Female Factory predates all but three historic convict sites and the Female Factory Friends group is currently lobbying the State Government to halt the proposed redevelopment of the area and to establish a living museum.

Prior to the October meeting, Andrew Cairns (from Arthritis and Osteoporosis NSW) discussed the types of arthritis, associated risk factors and general management of the condition. Keeping active is crucial after diagnosis.

Federation needs your help

Federation is seeking old copies of Education (Journal of the NSW Teachers Federation) with a focus on the years 1960 through to 2000. If you have any issues from this period, could you please contact Graeme at Federation Library. Once scanned, all journals will be returned to their respective owners.

Upcoming events

On Friday 17 November 2017, there will be a Port Hacking cruise beginning at Cronulla Wharf at 10.30am.

Our next meeting at Federation House is on Friday, 10 November 2017, commencing with lunch at 12.15pm, followed by a guest speaker at 1pm and concluding with a general meeting starting at 2pm.

Paul Regan is the Administrative Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association