Germany recognizes a third gender option for intersex childrenNovember 5, 2013
Germany became the first European country to legally recognize intersex children on November 1. Australia, India, Pakistan and Nepal already have some form of legal recognition of a third gender on legal and official documents.
The new German law, intended to ease the pressure on parents and prevent hasty decisions regarding newborn sex-assignment surgery, allows parents to leave gender blank on birth certificates.
The German Interior Ministry also announced that the law will also create a third designation for gender in German passports; alongside “F” and “M,” Germans will soon be able to choose “X.”
Intersexuality describes a group of conditions where an individual’s chromosomes, genitalia or anatomical sex differs from the generally accepted definitions of male or female.
Each year an estimated 2,000 babies are born intersex, a set of over 60 different conditions that fall under the diagnosis of “DSD” (Differences/Disorders of Sex Development), occurring more often than Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. DSD, however, is not a diagnosis, but an umbrella term used to describe various differences. 
While sex-assignment surgery has been performed on intersex infants in the U.S. since the 1950s, the ethics of the practice (of arbitrarily deciding a sex for a baby, mutilating them and forcing them to perform the corresponding gender) have been questioned in recent years by advocates and some clinical practitioners.
In cases where children are born with mixed or ambiguous markers of biological sex (chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive system, genitalia), current medical authority supports assigning a child a gender but not performing surgery until the child is old enough for gender identity to emerge and the child and guardians can make the appropriate decisions regarding surgery.  This also includes the choice whether to have any surgery at all, since surgery involves the risk of sterilization and elimination of sexual function.
However, sex-assignment surgery on newborns is still practiced in the U.S. and in other parts of the world—many times with potentially devastating physical and psychological effects on the individual. According to several sources, a person with CAH, a type of DSD, will generally have surgery before the age of two; a majority of those born with AIS, another type of DSD, will have undergone a gonadectomy before completing their teens.
Lawsuits have begun to arise, as surgery is increasingly seen as a choice that should be left to the individual once they are old enough to make it. In the case of M.C., for example, the adoptive parents of an intersex child sued the state for consenting to assignment surgery when M.C. was an infant and under custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. In a 2009 case, a German court awarded damages of over 100,000 Euro to an intersex individual, raised as a boy, whose uterus and womb were removed as a teen.
“I think any measure, legal or otherwise, granting a parent of any child more time to carefully consider how best to honor and preserve their child’s emotional and physical health is encouraging,” wrote Jim Bruce, a 36-year-old writer and intersex individual, to ABC News.
However, many activists point out that the German law does not go far enough. According to a 2011 report filed with the European Commission, intersex individuals face unique and especially complex barriers and discrimination in their legal, social and medical lives.
Many point out that this law does not address the most pressing problems faced by the intersex community, namely surgery on infants and discrimination. 
“That we forbid cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns, that is our first demand,” Lucie Veith, leader of the Association of Intersexed People in Germany, said to AFP.
The group, which supports a ban on sex-assignment surgery until the age of 16, said that while the law is a step in the right direction, it is unlikely to put an end to surgery on infants.  
Nelson Jones of New Statesman equates medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery on an infant to the broadly condemned genital mutilation of girls for religious or tribal reasons. 
“Surgical or hormonal treatment for cosmetic, non-medically necessary reasons must be deferred to an age when intersex people are able to provide their own free, prior and fully informed consent,” said Silvan Agius, policy director for ILGA Europe, the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, to Deutsche Welle. “The right to bodily integrity and self-determination should be ensured and past abuses acknowledged.”
Other activists recognize that while it is commendable that Germany is at least attempting to address intersex issues, the result of this new law remains to be seen. 
“Whilst this law may be seen to have been enacted from the best of intentions, it doesn’t really address the deeply embedded medical protocols that shadow many of our lives. It doesn’t change how those are engaged at all, but it does give space for parents to learn,” a UK intersex advocate said to Communities. “On the other side of the coin, this law change lays a platform for having an open and honest debate about what happens to us, and issues of self determination and bodily integrity. It gives a greater urgency for the need to educate parents, and wider society about our existence.”
Source

Germany recognizes a third gender option for intersex children
November 5, 2013

Germany became the first European country to legally recognize intersex children on November 1. Australia, India, Pakistan and Nepal already have some form of legal recognition of a third gender on legal and official documents.

The new German law, intended to ease the pressure on parents and prevent hasty decisions regarding newborn sex-assignment surgery, allows parents to leave gender blank on birth certificates.
The German Interior Ministry also announced that the law will also create a third designation for gender in German passports; alongside “F” and “M,” Germans will soon be able to choose “X.”
Intersexuality describes a group of conditions where an individual’s chromosomes, genitalia or anatomical sex differs from the generally accepted definitions of male or female.
Each year an estimated 2,000 babies are born intersex, a set of over 60 different conditions that fall under the diagnosis of “DSD” (Differences/Disorders of Sex Development), occurring more often than Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. DSD, however, is not a diagnosis, but an umbrella term used to describe various differences. 
While sex-assignment surgery has been performed on intersex infants in the U.S. since the 1950s, the ethics of the practice (of arbitrarily deciding a sex for a baby, mutilating them and forcing them to perform the corresponding gender) have been questioned in recent years by advocates and some clinical practitioners.
In cases where children are born with mixed or ambiguous markers of biological sex (chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive system, genitalia), current medical authority supports assigning a child a gender but not performing surgery until the child is old enough for gender identity to emerge and the child and guardians can make the appropriate decisions regarding surgery.  This also includes the choice whether to have any surgery at all, since surgery involves the risk of sterilization and elimination of sexual function.
However, sex-assignment surgery on newborns is still practiced in the U.S. and in other parts of the world—many times with potentially devastating physical and psychological effects on the individual. According to several sources, a person with CAH, a type of DSD, will generally have surgery before the age of two; a majority of those born with AIS, another type of DSD, will have undergone a gonadectomy before completing their teens.
Lawsuits have begun to arise, as surgery is increasingly seen as a choice that should be left to the individual once they are old enough to make it. In the case of M.C., for example, the adoptive parents of an intersex child sued the state for consenting to assignment surgery when M.C. was an infant and under custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. In a 2009 case, a German court awarded damages of over 100,000 Euro to an intersex individual, raised as a boy, whose uterus and womb were removed as a teen.
“I think any measure, legal or otherwise, granting a parent of any child more time to carefully consider how best to honor and preserve their child’s emotional and physical health is encouraging,” wrote Jim Bruce, a 36-year-old writer and intersex individual, to ABC News.
However, many activists point out that the German law does not go far enough. According to a 2011 report filed with the European Commission, intersex individuals face unique and especially complex barriers and discrimination in their legal, social and medical lives.
Many point out that this law does not address the most pressing problems faced by the intersex community, namely surgery on infants and discrimination. 
“That we forbid cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns, that is our first demand,” Lucie Veith, leader of the Association of Intersexed People in Germany, said to AFP.
The group, which supports a ban on sex-assignment surgery until the age of 16, said that while the law is a step in the right direction, it is unlikely to put an end to surgery on infants.  
Nelson Jones of New Statesman equates medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery on an infant to the broadly condemned genital mutilation of girls for religious or tribal reasons. 
“Surgical or hormonal treatment for cosmetic, non-medically necessary reasons must be deferred to an age when intersex people are able to provide their own free, prior and fully informed consent,” said Silvan Agius, policy director for ILGA Europe, the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, to Deutsche Welle. “The right to bodily integrity and self-determination should be ensured and past abuses acknowledged.”
Other activists recognize that while it is commendable that Germany is at least attempting to address intersex issues, the result of this new law remains to be seen. 
“Whilst this law may be seen to have been enacted from the best of intentions, it doesn’t really address the deeply embedded medical protocols that shadow many of our lives. It doesn’t change how those are engaged at all, but it does give space for parents to learn,” a UK intersex advocate said to Communities. “On the other side of the coin, this law change lays a platform for having an open and honest debate about what happens to us, and issues of self determination and bodily integrity. It gives a greater urgency for the need to educate parents, and wider society about our existence.”

The People’s Record Daily News Update - Whose news? Our news!

November 13, 2012 

Here are some stories you may not otherwise read about today:

  • The work to exhume the body of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has begun. Amid suspicion that he was poisoned by Israel, traces of polonium have been found on the late president’s body. Polonium is a highly toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific circles, used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, for instance. French investigators expect to have more information in a few weeks-a month. 

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US and Australia in cahoots for years over Assange intel
October 19, 2012
Australia has been handing key intelligence on Julian Assange to Washington for over two years. Newly-released cables indicate the US conducted an “active and vigorous enquiry” as early as 2010 to ascertain if they could try Assange for espionage.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revealed it had been in cahoots with the US over the Assange case for over two years, saying it had turned over documents as early as 2010 that pertained to the whistleblower’s activities.
One of the cables dated November 2011 includes a communiqué between former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and former Attorney-General Robert McClelland on the subject of how best to prosecute Assange.
The cable stipulates that the most successful route to prosecution “would be to show that Mr. Assange had acted as a co-conspirator – soliciting, encouraging or assisting [US Army private] Bradley Manning, to obtain and provide the documents.”
US officials put pressure on Canberra following the release of thousands of cables, saying that “the WikiLeaks case was unprecedented both in its scale and nature.”
The government body also confirmed they had sent intelligence to the US government on June 1 prior to Assange’s appeal of his extradition to Sweden to be questioned over sexual assault charges.
The Australian government had previously refuted claims that they had any knowledge of a conspiracy to put Assange to trial in the US.“I’ve received no hint that they’ve got a plan to extradite him to the US … I would expect that the US would not want to touch this,” said Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr in June.
The subject matter of the cables has not been released by Australia on the basis that they are intelligence agency documents and as such they have the potential to damage the country’s relations with the US.
Assange strikes back
Assange announced he would sue Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard over false claims that WikiLeaks acted illegally when they leaked 250,000 US diplomatic cables in 2010.
The whistleblower said that the PM’s claims prompted Mastercard Australia to join the financial blockade of WikiLeaks.
Assange told activist group Get Up! In an interview in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he is currently held up evading arrest that Gillard statements “directly affect the financial viability of WikiLeaks.”
”We are considering suing for defamation. So I have hired lawyers in Sydney and they are investigating the different ways in which we can sue Gillard over that statement,” said Assange.
Assange has been holed up for four months in London’s the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been granted political asylum by the country’s government. However, he has thus far been unable to leave as UK authorities have threatened to arrest him and extradite him to Sweden should he set foot outside the embassy.
Assange has repeatedly voiced fears that once in Sweden he would be handed over to US authorities to be put to trial.
Source

US and Australia in cahoots for years over Assange intel

October 19, 2012

Australia has been handing key intelligence on Julian Assange to Washington for over two years. Newly-released cables indicate the US conducted an “active and vigorous enquiry” as early as 2010 to ascertain if they could try Assange for espionage.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revealed it had been in cahoots with the US over the Assange case for over two years, saying it had turned over documents as early as 2010 that pertained to the whistleblower’s activities.

One of the cables dated November 2011 includes a communiqué between former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and former Attorney-General Robert McClelland on the subject of how best to prosecute Assange.

The cable stipulates that the most successful route to prosecution “would be to show that Mr. Assange had acted as a co-conspirator – soliciting, encouraging or assisting [US Army private] Bradley Manning, to obtain and provide the documents.”

US officials put pressure on Canberra following the release of thousands of cables, saying that “the WikiLeaks case was unprecedented both in its scale and nature.”

The government body also confirmed they had sent intelligence to the US government on June 1 prior to Assange’s appeal of his extradition to Sweden to be questioned over sexual assault charges.

The Australian government had previously refuted claims that they had any knowledge of a conspiracy to put Assange to trial in the US.

“I’ve received no hint that they’ve got a plan to extradite him to the US … I would expect that the US would not want to touch this,” 
said Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr in June.

The subject matter of the cables has not been released by Australia on the basis that they are intelligence agency documents and as such they have the potential to damage the country’s relations with the US.

Assange strikes back

Assange announced he would sue Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard over false claims that WikiLeaks acted illegally when they leaked 250,000 US diplomatic cables in 2010.

The whistleblower said that the PM’s claims prompted Mastercard Australia to join the financial blockade of WikiLeaks.

Assange told activist group Get Up! In an interview in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he is currently held up evading arrest that Gillard statements “directly affect the financial viability of WikiLeaks.”

”We are considering suing for defamation. So I have hired lawyers in Sydney and they are investigating the different ways in which we can sue Gillard over that statement,” said Assange.

Assange has been holed up for four months in London’s the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been granted political asylum by the country’s government. However, he has thus far been unable to leave as UK authorities have threatened to arrest him and extradite him to Sweden should he set foot outside the embassy.

Assange has repeatedly voiced fears that once in Sweden he would be handed over to US authorities to be put to trial.

Source

Indigenous people of Australia face housing crises and increasingly impossible living conditions
October 18, 2012
A shortfall in government-owned accommodation is forcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into overcrowded homes, their cars or the streets, say Canberra welfare groups.
Concern over a lack of accommodation follows an increase in the number of self-identified indigenous public housing tenants in the past year.
One problem highlighted by housing groups is overcrowding, as seen in the case of a single mother who until recently lived in one room with her four young sons aged between seven years and 20 months.
Now in emergency accommodation with the help of a local charity, the woman said she felt there was some discrimination against her and others due to the higher levels of family support traditionally provided by indigenous families.
”I’ve had problems with housing since I moved here in December,” she said.
”At the time, I was living with my parents in a crowded house. I’ve got four young boys of my own and we were all in one room.”
Aboriginal Housing and Management Support Inc director Darren Williams said overcrowding was a common impact of insufficient housing for indigenous families, who work on a kinship basis. ”You’re not going to turn away any family and friends, especially if they’re in need,” he said.
”That’s why you’ve got problems with overcrowding.”
Source

Indigenous people of Australia face housing crises and increasingly impossible living conditions

October 18, 2012

A shortfall in government-owned accommodation is forcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into overcrowded homes, their cars or the streets, say Canberra welfare groups.

Concern over a lack of accommodation follows an increase in the number of self-identified indigenous public housing tenants in the past year.

One problem highlighted by housing groups is overcrowding, as seen in the case of a single mother who until recently lived in one room with her four young sons aged between seven years and 20 months.

Now in emergency accommodation with the help of a local charity, the woman said she felt there was some discrimination against her and others due to the higher levels of family support traditionally provided by indigenous families.

”I’ve had problems with housing since I moved here in December,” she said.

”At the time, I was living with my parents in a crowded house. I’ve got four young boys of my own and we were all in one room.”

Aboriginal Housing and Management Support Inc director Darren Williams said overcrowding was a common impact of insufficient housing for indigenous families, who work on a kinship basis. ”You’re not going to turn away any family and friends, especially if they’re in need,” he said.

”That’s why you’ve got problems with overcrowding.”

Source

 Swedish Extradition FACTS from Christine Assange
June 20, 2012
Julian Assange’s mother Christine recently tweeted the following FACTS about extraditions involving the USA, UK, Sweden and Australia: 1. Australian PM Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot backed new Extradition Act Amendments making it easier for U.S.A to extradite Aussies. The Greens fought it. 2. For the FIRST TIME Aussies can be now be extradited for minor offenses. 3. The protection of “political” motives has been weakened. If the charge is “terrorism” then “political” cannot apply to prevent extradition. 4. The U.S.A. recently expanded its definition of “terrorist” to include peaceful protesters - “low level terrorism”. 5. Under the new NDAA legislation, the U.S became a police state - citizens and foreigners can be arrested without warrant and indefinite detention applies. 6. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it legal to publish classified documents. Obama is now trying to label media who do so as terrorists. 7. Modifications to the Act included changing “protection from death penalty” to “likelihood the death penalty would be carried out”. 8. Note that the U.S.A is in the top 5 countries for killing its own citizens, and the only Western country in that top 5. 9. Even Minor Offenses under the new Extradition Amendments are punished with up to 12 months imprisonment. 10. The UK/US Bilateral Treaty allows the U.S.A to extradite from the UK without any prima facie case (i.e. evidence). 11. The Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track “Temporary Surrender” clause. 12. The US Grand Jury convenes in secret. There are 4 prosecutors, no defense, and no judge. It can issue indictments for extradition with no proper legal process. 13. Sweden has NEVER refused an extradition request from the U.S.A. 14. In 2001 Sweden gave two innocent Egyptian refugees to the CIA for rendition to Egypt, where they were tortured. 15. The Swedish Justice Minister who signed off on the CIA rendition torture flight was Thomas Bodstrum. 16. Thomas Bodstrum is now the business partner of Claes Borgstrum, the politician/lawyer of the two Swedish women in the Assange case. 17. The Australian Greens supported a motion by Senator Scott Ludlam to protect Julian from “Temporary Surrender” to the U.S.A via Sweden. Both Labor and the Coalition opposed it. Follow Christine Assange on Twitter:  ‏@AssangeC
Source
Photo Source

Swedish Extradition FACTS from Christine Assange

June 20, 2012

Julian Assange’s mother Christine recently tweeted the following FACTS about extraditions involving the USA, UK, Sweden and Australia:

1. Australian PM Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot backed new Extradition Act Amendments making it easier for U.S.A to extradite Aussies. The Greens fought it.

2. For the FIRST TIME Aussies can be now be extradited for minor offenses.

3. The protection of “political” motives has been weakened. If the charge is “terrorism” then “political” cannot apply to prevent extradition.

4. The U.S.A. recently expanded its definition of “terrorist” to include peaceful protesters - “low level terrorism”.

5. Under the new NDAA legislation, the U.S became a police state - citizens and foreigners can be arrested without warrant and indefinite detention applies.

6. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it legal to publish classified documents. Obama is now trying to label media who do so as terrorists.

7. Modifications to the Act included changing “protection from death penalty” to “likelihood the death penalty would be carried out”.

8. Note that the U.S.A is in the top 5 countries for killing its own citizens, and the only Western country in that top 5.

9. Even Minor Offenses under the new Extradition Amendments are punished with up to 12 months imprisonment.

10. The UK/US Bilateral Treaty allows the U.S.A to extradite from the UK without any prima facie case (i.e. evidence).

11. The Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track “Temporary Surrender” clause.

12. The US Grand Jury convenes in secret. There are 4 prosecutors, no defense, and no judge. It can issue indictments for extradition with no proper legal process.

13. Sweden has NEVER refused an extradition request from the U.S.A.

14. In 2001 Sweden gave two innocent Egyptian refugees to the CIA for rendition to Egypt, where they were tortured.

15. The Swedish Justice Minister who signed off on the CIA rendition torture flight was Thomas Bodstrum.

16. Thomas Bodstrum is now the business partner of Claes Borgstrum, the politician/lawyer of the two Swedish women in the Assange case.

17. The Australian Greens supported a motion by Senator Scott Ludlam to protect Julian from “Temporary Surrender” to the U.S.A via Sweden. Both Labor and the Coalition opposed it.

Follow Christine Assange on Twitter:  ‏@AssangeC

Source

Photo Source

June 13, 2012
Thousands of Australian workers are rallying outside NSW Parliament today to protest against expected cuts to the state’s WorkCover scheme.
An issues paper released by the government in April canvassed a range of possible changes to the scheme, including putting a cap on medical expenses payouts, removing coverage for injury claims relating to journeys to and from work and reducing weekly compensation payments.
Unions NSW general secretary Mark Lennon said the proposed changes were the biggest attack on workers compensation benefits in more than 100 years.
"When it comes to workers compensation the O’Farrell government only has one agenda, a free kick for employers," he said.
"If they want lower premiums … prevent workplace injuries."
Nurse Emily Orchard was injured performing CPR four years ago and has had multiple spinal surgeries since, which she said were so painful she sometimes prayed for death.
"My entire life has been this injury for a long time," she said.
She said proposals to limit the length of time workers could receive support for medical services would mean people such as herself would be forced to pay for their own ongoing hospital and medical bills.
"Given that I’m not currently working, how would I survive?" she said.
Source

June 13, 2012

Thousands of Australian workers are rallying outside NSW Parliament today to protest against expected cuts to the state’s WorkCover scheme.

An issues paper released by the government in April canvassed a range of possible changes to the scheme, including putting a cap on medical expenses payouts, removing coverage for injury claims relating to journeys to and from work and reducing weekly compensation payments.

Unions NSW general secretary Mark Lennon said the proposed changes were the biggest attack on workers compensation benefits in more than 100 years.

"When it comes to workers compensation the O’Farrell government only has one agenda, a free kick for employers," he said.

"If they want lower premiums … prevent workplace injuries."

Nurse Emily Orchard was injured performing CPR four years ago and has had multiple spinal surgeries since, which she said were so painful she sometimes prayed for death.

"My entire life has been this injury for a long time," she said.

She said proposals to limit the length of time workers could receive support for medical services would mean people such as herself would be forced to pay for their own ongoing hospital and medical bills.

"Given that I’m not currently working, how would I survive?" she said.

Source

More than 20,000 Australian teachers begin strike (photo)June 7, 2012
About 20,000 primary and secondary public school teachers in Victoria are expected to strike tomorrow. The Australian Education Union (AEU) has organised the industrial action, including a mass meeting and a rally to parliament, following a breakdown in its negotiations on a new enterprise bargaining agreement with the state Liberal government.
Before being elected in 2010, Premier Ted Baillieu promised to make Victorian teachers, currently among the lowest paid in Australia, the highest paid. Immediately after taking office, however, he junked his pledge, along with a commitment not to impose any public sector sackings. His state government has imposed a 2.5 percent wage ceiling on all public sector workers, a significant real pay cut.
The government has also issued a list of so-called productivity demands. It wants already overworked teachers in larger secondary schools to fit in an extra hour of classroom teaching each week, and hopes to eliminate the current system of near-automatic progression up the pay scale. Whereas now 99.8 percent of teachers receive annual increment increases, the government wants a cap of 80 percent. This is aimed at reducing the government’s wages bill and intimidating the workforce. Any teacher deemed to be “underperforming” may never move up the pay scale, which for new teachers currently begins at an annual salary of just under $57,000.
The Liberal government is also demanding the introduction of an across-the-board “performance pay” system. It wants 30 percent of teachers to receive wage bonuses of between 6 to 10 percent and another 40 percent of teachers to receive a 1.4 percent bonus, based on meeting targets to lift “classroom standards”. The purpose is to divide the teaching workforce and further entrench the federal Labor government’s regressive standardised testing regime—the National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) scheme. Performance bonuses will likely be tied to NAPLAN results, leading to more “teaching to the test” rote learning.
Source
Why do countries continually put the flourishing minds of students in the hands of teachers who are treated so horribly by the same system?

More than 20,000 Australian teachers begin strike (photo)
June 7, 2012

About 20,000 primary and secondary public school teachers in Victoria are expected to strike tomorrow. The Australian Education Union (AEU) has organised the industrial action, including a mass meeting and a rally to parliament, following a breakdown in its negotiations on a new enterprise bargaining agreement with the state Liberal government.

Before being elected in 2010, Premier Ted Baillieu promised to make Victorian teachers, currently among the lowest paid in Australia, the highest paid. Immediately after taking office, however, he junked his pledge, along with a commitment not to impose any public sector sackings. His state government has imposed a 2.5 percent wage ceiling on all public sector workers, a significant real pay cut.

The government has also issued a list of so-called productivity demands. It wants already overworked teachers in larger secondary schools to fit in an extra hour of classroom teaching each week, and hopes to eliminate the current system of near-automatic progression up the pay scale. Whereas now 99.8 percent of teachers receive annual increment increases, the government wants a cap of 80 percent. This is aimed at reducing the government’s wages bill and intimidating the workforce. Any teacher deemed to be “underperforming” may never move up the pay scale, which for new teachers currently begins at an annual salary of just under $57,000.

The Liberal government is also demanding the introduction of an across-the-board “performance pay” system. It wants 30 percent of teachers to receive wage bonuses of between 6 to 10 percent and another 40 percent of teachers to receive a 1.4 percent bonus, based on meeting targets to lift “classroom standards”. The purpose is to divide the teaching workforce and further entrench the federal Labor government’s regressive standardised testing regime—the National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) scheme. Performance bonuses will likely be tied to NAPLAN results, leading to more “teaching to the test” rote learning.

Source

Why do countries continually put the flourishing minds of students in the hands of teachers who are treated so horribly by the same system?

On May 1, 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalize dissent in Premier Ted Baillieu’s state of Victoria and to intimidate supporters of Palestine in Australia. - Palestine Solidarity on Trial in Australia

On May 1, 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalize dissent in Premier Ted Baillieu’s state of Victoria and to intimidate supporters of Palestine in Australia. - Palestine Solidarity on Trial in Australia