News is offering 50 redundancies at the Herald Sun as part of plan to combine all of News features under newly appointed national features boss Alan Oakley. Also Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun sports staff to go on seven-day roster.

Warren Pitt (QLD ALP Member for Mulgrave) refused Anna Bligh’s request for him to retire at the upcoming election, unless his son Curtis Pitt was given the nomination. The other factions in the ALP are ropable and leaking left, right and centre.

The CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Office has resigned as a matter of principle because of a continuous lack of support from the NSW Government, especially the Housing Minister. Starting with burying the outcomes of the DPC review into aboriginal housing (now over 12 months old) and continual stalling of allocating a budget to the AHO, the Minister has upped the ante by recently telling him that he could not buy a four bedroom house at Dubbo for aboriginal clients (even though 11 people were going to live in it).

“Buy something smaller/plainer that is more suitable to Aboriginals,” the Minister directed.

The CEO of Dept of Housing has been appointed as acting CEO of AHO, a definite indicator that the future needs of aboriginal people will be disregarded by the Rees government by incorporating the AHO back into Housing NSW (from where it broke away in the first place as a result of clients’ needs being ignored or insensitively dealt with).

Last week Crikey reported on a struggle going on over the Wikipedia entry for law firm Blake Dawson. Last Friday Blake’s Wiki page read:

Blake Dawson is a commercial law firm that operates in the Asia-Pacific region. In Australia it is considered one of the top commercial law firms. The partnership of Blake Dawson, the sixth-biggest law firm by revenue in 2008, is considering cutting up to 100 staff in a bid to slash costs and preserve profit.

Blake Dawson is the first top tier law firm in Australia to announce anticipated redundancies during the 2009 economic downturn. While other major law firms Allens Arthur Robinson and Freehills have assured staff that there will be no redundancies, partners of Blake Dawson announced on 24 February 2008 that they would sack up to 100 staff instead of reducing their individual profit share.

The firm’s partners receive an average of $850,000 each per annum.

The History tab showed someone (presumably someone from Blakes) trying to get the entry removed and it looks like they have succeeded since all reference to redundancy has been removed from Wikipedia. It’s surprising they have time now that the partners are left to run the whole show themselves.

Blake Dawson sackwatch. More sackings to come this week at Blake Dawson. The axe is not yet done. Leadership is sitting around doing nothing and not communicating with staff. Deep resentment in the firm. How can these people have opened two new offices Adelaide and Singapore in the past three months and then sack 125 people? Financial problems don’t appear over night — this smacks of protecting partner profits to me. Perhaps with their emotional intelligence, the management should go and work for Pacific Brands — they would be in good company! The firm constantly crow about the flexible working awards that it has won, but this kind of arrangement was not even considered to save the people marched out the door last week. No partners gone yet.

The Australian Democrats have attacked ACTU Chief Sharan Burrow as a hypocrite over paid maternity leave and suggested that she may possibly run for office.

Peter Fray

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