In Defence of Public Education in Australia and New Zealand

Australian teacher unions’ phoney campaign against NAPLAN

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2018

The teacher unions have no principled opposition to the high-stakes testing agenda, while Australian teachers have opposed it from the start.

New Zealand teachers’ union moves to call off strikes

By John Braddock, 31 October 2018

In order to quash rolling strikes due next month, the primary teachers’ union has joined with the Ministry of Education to seek urgent facilitation to end a long-running pay dispute.

Australian “edu-business” set to profit under Gonski 2.0

By Erika Zimmer, 13 October 2018

Gonski 2.0 advocates an even more regressive testing regime than the NAPLAN model implemented by the Rudd Labor government in 2008.

Australian government hands private schools another $4.6 billion

By David Cohen, 6 October 2018

The latest windfall will accelerate the gulf between well-resourced private schools and cash-starved public schools in one of the world’s most unequal education systems.

Australian academics union tries to impose another sellout agreement at University of Melbourne

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2018

On virtually every substantive issue concerning staff wages and working conditions, the NTEU made significant concessions in line with the management’s requirements.

New Zealand education riven by class inequality

By John Braddock, 2 October 2018

The New Zealand Herald’s investigation found that only one in 100 entrants to top university courses over a five-year period were students from the poorest schools.

New Zealand primary teachers reject sellout pay offer

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2018

The Labour Party-NZ First government’s offer of a meagre 3 percent per year for three years, with no measures to address the staffing crisis, was resoundingly rejected by primary school teachers.

New Zealand primary teachers’ union presents sellout offer

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 17 September 2018

The Labour government’s proposal does not begin to address stagnant wages and the staffing crisis afflicting schools.

Australia: Union calls one-day stoppage at University of Newcastle

By John Harris, 14 September 2018

The National Tertiary Education Union’s demands centre on maintaining the “consultative” and “committee” structures through which it has helped management impose restructuring and job cuts.

Australia: Reject NTEU sellout at Macquarie University! For a unified national struggle against cuts!

By the Committee For Public Education, 13 September 2018

The rush for a vote on the union-negotiated agreement is a warning of its thrust and content.

Australian university union elections point to seething discontent

By Mike Head, 11 September 2018

Amid an escalating assault on staff and students, more than a third of the votes rejected the NTEU leadership’s candidate.

New Zealand teachers join growing wages movement

By our reporters, 6 August 2018

In a rebuff to the union leadership, 50,000 primary school teachers voted to strike on August 15.

Australian Labor Party plans another pro-business, higher education restructure

By Mike Head, 28 July 2018

A decade after its “education revolution,” Labor prepares an even deeper market-driven “review” of universities and technical colleges.

Union tries to contain staff anger at Australia’s University of Newcastle

By John Harris, 3 July 2018

The NTEU is isolating the struggles of its members, university by university, against deepening attacks on their conditions and pay.

New Zealand: Staff cuts and library closures at the University of Auckland

By Sam Price, 30 June 2018

University of Auckland authorities have responded to a funding freeze by the Labour government by announcing the shutdown of three specialist libraries and job cuts.

Australian government pushes cuts to student loan scheme

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 June 2018

The Liberal-National government is seeking to force increasingly poverty-stricken young people to repay student debts.

Educators internationally must stand up for Julian Assange

By Sue Phillips, 21 June 2018

Committee For Public Education national convenor Sue Phillips told the Sydney rally that the defence of Assange is intimately connected to the fight for the democratic and social rights of students, educators and the working class.

Staff at Australia’s Macquarie University vote for unified fight against government cuts

By our correspondent, 20 June 2018

The vote indicates the emergence of highly significant opposition to the decades-long betrayals of the trade unions.

Union-management partnership at Australia’s Macquarie University will create “two-tier” workforce

By our correspondent, 18 June 2018

The NTEU is collaborating with management to introduce the “jobs families” plan that will force huge workloads onto 25 percent of teaching staff.

Artists Tony Garnett, Davide Dormino and Costantino Ciervo demand freedom for Julian Assange

13 June 2018

Film and TV producer Tony Garnett said defending Julian Assange “is part of the fight for freedom, for the rights of the individual against state oppression.”

Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

13 June 2018

The governments attempting to silence Assange are attacking the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

Australian public high school teachers support campaign to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 12 June 2018

Socialist Equality Party member Will Marshall moved a resolution in defence of Assange at Footscray City College.

Gonski 2.0: A new business blueprint for Australian school education

By Linda Tenenbaum and Susan Allan, 29 May 2018

The most revealing aspect of the new Review is that it fails to provide any assessment of the role of the current education models in the school education crisis.

Australia: Why is the New South Wales Teachers Federation promoting a new NAPLAN?

By Erika Zimmer, 18 May 2018

Australian teachers have been almost universally hostile to NAPLAN testing which was introduced by the former Rudd Labor government a decade ago.

New Zealand Labour government makes “left” feint on education

By John Braddock, 14 May 2018

Some 50,000 NZ teachers are set to follow their counterparts in the United States and other countries in the fight for jobs, decent wages and working conditions.

Australia: Melbourne university staff strike to defend academic freedom

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 May 2018

Through the “reforms” of successive Labor and Liberal-National governments, universities have been transformed into privatised and corporatised entities.

Australia: Discontent as union pushes collaboration with management at Macquarie University

By Mike Head, 17 April 2018

Younger academics and casual teachers, in particular, have voiced disbelief at the National Tertiary Education Union’s assurances.

Australian universities integrated into military build-up

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 April 2018

A report last month documented the proliferation of ties between Australian universities, government-backed military research, and private contractors, including arms dealers.

Australian tertiary education union imposes cuts to wages and conditions at Murdoch University

By Mike Head, 9 April 2018

Almost half the university’s staff abstained or refused to vote in the postal ballot to accept the NTEU-negotiated agreement.

Teachers’ rebellion spreads on four continents

By Eric London, 28 March 2018

Teachers in North and South America, Europe, Africa and elsewhere are fighting for higher wages, pensions, and in defense of the right to public education.

The struggle of teachers cannot be isolated! For a united movement of the entire working class!

By Jerry White, 28 March 2018

The wave of teachers’ strikes in the US and internationally has raised vital political and strategic issues, which must be discussed and debated to take this struggle forward.

Union prepares another sellout deal at Australia’s Macquarie University

By our correspondent, 20 March 2018

The secrecy imposed by the NTEU is a warning that Macquarie will be a test case for the union’s capacity to impose intensifying cuts and pro-business measures.

Australian teachers salute courageous stand of striking teachers in West Virginia

By our reporters, 7 March 2018

Teachers in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia’s two most populous states, have expressed powerful support for the struggle being waged by their counterparts in West Virginia.

The advent of “pop-up” schools in Australia: Yet another assault on public education

By Erika Zimmer and Linda Tenenbaum, 27 February 2018

“Pop-up” schools are temporary replacements for the huge shortage of public schools capable of providing their students with the classrooms and other facilities they require.

Students and staff to bear brunt of latest Australian university funding cut

By Mike Head, 20 January 2018

A two-year freeze on funding for undergraduate enrolments will be followed by pro-business “performance targets” imposed on university funding.

Australia: NSW state government axes longstanding reading program from public schools

By Erika Zimmer, 19 January 2018

“Reading Recovery” has been taught for more than 30 years, achieving significant results in improving literacy among disadvantaged students across New South Wales.

New Zealand government prepares attack on foreign students

By Sam Price, 4 January 2018

The Labour-led government is scapegoating international students, along with immigrants, to divert attention from the real source of the social crisis.

Australian university overturns student union election result

By Will Morrow, 22 December 2017

The University of Wollongong administration’s intervention is part of a broader crackdown on students’ democratic rights across the country.

Underpayment of international students and backpackers commonplace in Australia

By George Morley, 7 December 2017

Thousands of young people temporarily working in Australia are paid less than the official minimum wage and a small but significant minority work under slave-like conditions.

Australian unions push another sell-out agreement at Western Sydney University

By our correspondents, 17 November 2017

The NTEU is attempting to impose another retrograde enterprise deal that will assist management to deepen cuts to jobs and conditions.

The Gonski “needs-based” school funding fraud in Australia

Part 2: The “socio-economic status” racket

By David Cohen and Linda Tenenbaum, 16 November 2017

Gonski’s funding formula obliterates any significant distinction between public, Catholic and corporate schools.

The Gonski “needs-based” school funding fraud in Australia

Part 1: Accelerating the corporatisation of schools

By David Cohen and Linda Tenenbaum, 15 November 2017

David Gonski is among the most trusted lieutenants of the corporate, financial and political elites.

Free, high quality public education is a social right! Join the Committee For Public Education!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 October 2017

Australia has one of the most unequal and privatised school systems in the world.

Australian university union blocks debate at WSU stopwork rally

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Trade union enterprise agreements have been the vehicle for facilitating all the government-employer attacks on university staff and students.

Western Sydney University workers denounce cuts to jobs and conditions

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Academics and other campus workers condemn the worsening conditions for university staff and students.

Australian university unions divide opposition to sell-out deals

By our correspondents, 18 October 2017

Far from opposing the combined government-university administration offensive, the two trade unions covering university staff are facilitating it.

Australian university union pushes sellout deals across the country

By our correspondents, 30 September 2017

The National Tertiary Education Union used a national briefing to block debate and insist that members accept new enterprise agreements that further undermine jobs and conditions.

NTEU betrays staff at University of Sydney

By our correspondent, 30 September 2017

Despite considerable anger and bewilderment among the 450 staff members at a union branch meeting on September 21, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) pushed through an initial vote for a major sellout of its members at the University of Sydney. The final vote was 301 for and 139 against, reflecting developing concern about the union’s role.

Oppose the NTEU sellout at University of Sydney! For a unified struggle of all university workers across Australia!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 20 September 2017

The union is organising retrograde agreements across the university sector.

Australia: New “learning precinct” ties public schools to business

By David Cohen, 18 September 2017

The project has little to do with the quality of education; its priority is the Victorian state government’s relationship with the financial and corporate elites.

Australia: National Tertiary Education Union attempts to suppress struggle against job cuts at Western Sydney University

By our correspondent, 4 September 2017

The jobs of around 150 professional staff will be destroyed and all security employees retrenched, while other devastating cuts are being prepared.

The rise of “edu-business” in Australian public schools

By Erika Zimmer, 2 September 2017

In 2011, in his characteristically crude and cynical manner, Rupert Murdoch spelled out the agenda that now underlies the provision of so-called “public education” in Australia.

University of Sydney union branch stages protest strike over wages and conditions

By our reporters, 2 September 2017

The NTEU is trying to channel workers’ anger as a bargaining chip to seal another regressive enterprise agreement with the management.

Australian government urges universities to tear up staff conditions

By Mike Head, 1 September 2017

The tertiary education trade unions will use this week’s Fair Work Commission ruling to intensify their work to stifle all resistance by increasingly discontented university workers.

The Australian Education Union’s 2017 campaign of misinformation and censorship

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 26 July 2017

Union officials concealed that the EBA contains the adoption of measures proposed in the “Bracks Review,” which escalate the pro-market agenda now underpinning public education.

Australian Education Union pushes through pro-market workplace agreement in Victoria

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 1 July 2017

Endorsement of the agreement opens the way for an acceleration of the destructive pro-market agenda that has created a systemic crisis in public education.

Australian state government and unions collaborate in teacher’s dismissal under “TIP”

By Erika Zimmer and Linda Tenenbaum, 29 June 2017

The New South Wales Teachers Federation and the state government are using the Teacher Improvement Program (TIP) procedure to victimise highly-experienced teachers and replace them with lower-paid younger teachers on short-term contracts.

Major crisis in Australian public school infrastructure

By Karen Holland, 28 June 2017

The Grattan Institute projects that 400 to 750 new public schools will need to be built over the next decade, to cater for approximately 650,000 additional students.

Australian university staff face cuts to pay, jobs and basic rights

By Mike Head, 28 June 2017

Government funding cuts are accelerating the pro-business restructuring of higher education that began three decades ago.

Library staff cut in New Zealand’s biggest city

By Sam Price, 19 June 2017

Just months after the election of former Labour Party leader Phil Goff as mayor, Auckland libraries are cutting staff in a cost-saving restructure.

Reject unacceptable workloads and standardised testing! Take a stand for public education!

Vote No to the AEU-Labor government sell-out deal in Victoria!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 9 June 2017

The chronic underfunding, under-resourcing and under-staffing of public schools is driving many parents to send their children to private schools.

Socialist Equality Party forum discusses agenda behind Australian Education Union sell-out deal

By our reporter, 5 June 2017

A clear relationship exists between the anti-democratic, bureaucratic tactics employed by the AEU to obtain a majority “yes” vote and the regressive, pro-market content of its 2017 agreement.

One thousand staff stood-down after private college collapses in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 May 2017

The closure of Careers Australia, which had been accused of dubious enrolment practices, was apparently triggered by the withdrawal of substantial government funds.

Australia: Teachers explain why the AEU-government deal should be rejected

By our reporters, 22 May 2017

“The union has become the policeman to enforce agreements that sell our conditions down the drain.”

Student protests in Australia promote Labor and the Greens

By our reporters, 20 May 2017

The poorly attended demonstrations reflected alienation from the NUS and its support for the major parliamentary parties.

Australia: Contract teacher voices opposition to the AEU-government agreement

By our reporters, 20 May 2017

“I feel as though we’re teaching to a test, and not spending enough time on building our relationship with our students, and building on their strengths.”

SEP and Victorian Teachers and ES Staff Forum

The political issues in the fight against the AEU-Labor government EBA

20 May 2017

The forum on May 28 will present a detailed critique of the Australian Education Union’s sell-out deal with the Andrews Labor government, and clarify why teachers and ES staff should reject it.

Australian teachers support campaign against AEU-government deal

By our reporters, 18 May 2017

Teachers who attended recent delegates meetings on the new enterprise agreement voiced support for a “No” vote.

Australia:

Teachers criticise anti-democratic character of AEU delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2017

“I think people voted without understanding the nitty-gritty of the agreement.”

Australian university student protests

A socialist perspective to fight the government assault on education and the drive to war

By the IYSSE (Australia), 17 May 2017

The National Union of Students called protests today to confine the growing anger of students to impotent protest appeals to the Labor Party, the Greens and the populist “cross-bench” parties in the Senate.

Vote “NO” to the EBA!

Australian Education Union pushes through industrial agreement at delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 16 May 2017

SEP members and supporters who work in public education are campaigning for a “No” vote among rank-and-file teachers and ES staff.

Library jobs cut in New Zealand’s biggest city

By Sam Price, 13 May 2017

Just months after the election of former Labour Party leader Phil Goff as mayor, Auckland city is slashing library staff numbers.

Australia: Victorian teachers speak out against agreement after union delegate meeting

By our reporters, 4 May 2017

Teachers raised concerns about the impact of growing workloads and the promotion of standardised testing in public schools.

Teachers oppose Australian Education Union sell-out deal at Victorian delegates meeting

By our reporters, 3 May 2017

The Melbourne meeting revealed mounting hostility among teachers to the union’s bureaucratic methods and to the agreement itself.

The Victorian teachers’ agreement and “performance pay”

What the Australian Education Union is suppressing

By David Cohen, 1 May 2017

The AEU’s claim that its deal with the Labor government is a blow against the “performance pay” regime and standardised testing is a fraud.

Australia: Growing opposition to sell-out agreement among Victorian teachers and support staff

By our reporters, 29 April 2017

Teachers from at least five schools have convened meetings to reject the agreement between the Australian Education Union and the Victorian state Labor government.

The political issues in the fight to reject the Victorian teachers’ EBA

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 21 April 2017

The most detrimental, long-term aspect of the workplace agreement is that it includes sweeping commitments by the teachers' union to enforce a “performance-ranking” system.

How the AEU is attempting to push through a sell-out of Victorian teachers

By Susan Allan, 17 April 2017

If the agreement is such a “significant gain” then why is there no framework or democratic process where teachers can discuss, debate, and seek clarification on its contents?

Australia: Victorian teachers denounce union-backed agreement

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

The AEU has sought to suppress discussion of its latest sell-out, while falsely claiming it is a “victory” for teachers.

Australian pseudo-left groups back teachers’ union after sell-out deal

By David Cohen, 12 April 2017

The pseudo-lefts’ reluctance to openly call for a “yes” vote on the agreement only reflects their calculations that a “left” safety valve is needed to divert the hostility of teachers to the AEU.

Australian teachers’ agreement: The reality behind union “victory” claims

By Susan Allan, 6 April 2017

On every key issue the teachers’ union and the Victorian Labor government have worked together to entrench and deepen the assault on the public education system.

Australian Education Union agrees to sell-out deal with Victorian state Labor government

By Susan Allan, 30 March 2017

Teacher union claims of a “great win for our members” are a fraud.

Australia: Education Department head calls for police in schools amid anti-Muslim witch-hunt

By our reporters, 21 March 2017

The media and government authorities are continuing to use unsubstantiated allegations of “Islamic extremism” in schools to whip-up an atmosphere of right-wing hysteria.

Australian Labor’s “self-managing schools,” seven years on

By Erika Zimmer, 21 March 2017

The devolution agenda is deepening the education gap between advantaged and disadvantaged, working class students, paving the way for US-style for-profit “charter schools.”

A new wave of job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 18 March 2017

Staff and students suffer as universities axe hundreds more jobs, usually via “voluntary” redundancy schemes, assisted by the trade unions.

Australian government imposes phonics test on six-year-olds

By David Cohen, 15 March 2017

The new measures are aimed at extending the impact of the former Labor government’s NAPLAN testing regime and further undermining public education.

Australian media witch-hunts school principal removed for opposing anti-radicalisation program

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

There is growing opposition among teachers, students and parents to the anti-democratic dismissal of the school principal, and the police spying programs that he allegedly opposed.

Australian school principal removed for allegedly resisting “anti-radicalisation” program

By Mike Head, 9 March 2017

Under the government plan, teachers are required to become informants on their students.

Australian college closure highlights sham practices in private education sector

By Robert Campion, 30 January 2017

Profit-making colleges with dubious records have received millions of dollars in public funding under a scheme introduced by the former Labor government.

“Kindy boot camp” enrolments proliferating in Australia

By Perla Astudillo, 10 January 2017

Increasing numbers of parents are feeling pressured to organise tutoring for their young children in “kindy boot camps” where they undergo structured learning and constant testing.

Disability services privatised and targeted for more cuts in Australia’s public schools

By Susan Allan, 5 January 2017

An already under-funded scheme for providing disability services to public school children in the state of Victoria is to be targeted for further cuts.

An exposure of high-stakes testing in Australia’s public schools

Beautiful Failures by Lucy Clark

By Karen Holland, 15 December 2016

Probing more deeply the causes of her daughter’s crippling anxiety during the last two years of school, Clark found a general consensus that “education is broken.”

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation pushes through new agreement in anti-democratic meetings

By our reporters, 9 December 2016

Socialist Equality Party supporters challenged the union’s refusal to circulate the deal before forcing teachers to vote on it.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation calls meetings to ram through government deal

Demand the new agreement be circulated immediately! Delay the meetings to December 15!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 5 December 2016

The union has called stop-work meetings on December 8, for 50,000 public school teachers to vote on an agreement that they have neither read nor discussed.

Australia: NSW government re-introduces public school inspectors to enforce unpopular measures

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 November 2016

Inspectors will police standardised testing on behalf of the New South Wales government, with powers to close schools and dismiss “underperforming” teachers.

Australia: New South Wales government “bumps up” standardised testing in schools

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2016

The new measures underscore the relationship between standardised testing schemes and the government’s cost-cutting agenda for public education.

Ex-Australian Labor minister calls for deregulation of university fees

By Mike Head, 29 September 2016

Dawkins appealed for Labor and the Coalition government to develop a bipartisan policy to further slash education spending and deny access to working class youth.

Students denounce Sydney College of the Arts merger

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

Sydney College of the Arts students and staff are continuing their protests against the University of Sydney administration’s attempts to transfer the highly-regarded fine arts tertiary institution onto another campus. Students spoke to WSWS reporters about the impact on their studies and their artistic work.

Australia: Students occupy Sydney College of the Arts

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

The ongoing protest coincided with a march on parliament by National Art School students and staff opposing merger plans at their facility.

Labour Party makes empty promises to New Zealand students

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 29 August 2016

Despite its highly conditional pledges, Labour has no intention of reducing ballooning debt and poverty among students.