The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019 (Cth) provides excessive and unnecessary external oversight of the leadership, staffing and internal operations of registered trade unions. It confers significant power to the Minister, employers and broader corporate interests to interfere with the democratic operation of trade unions.
Wage theft is major problem in Australia. Businesses often see workers from non-english speaking countries and migrant workers as easier to exploit. To help understand and stop wage theft, Unions NSW audited job advertisements on Chinese, Korean and Spanish language websites. The audit found 79 per cent of businesses advertised pay rates that are below the minimum Award wage.
This paper challenges the current framework for dealing with sexual harassment. Currently, sexual harassment is treated as an individual issue where the burden is placed solely on the complainant. Instead, we shift towards collective responses and solutions. Further the paper explores options for more pro-active responses to the prevention of sexual harassment.
The Federal Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative seeks to incentivise State Governments to privatise assets. The initiative emphasises the short term profits of privatisation, but overlooks the broader policy implications and long term economic issues.
Despite claims about the economic advantages of privatisation made by the NSW Liberal Government, the privatisation agenda of the last three decades has resulted in cuts
to public services, finalisation of few large scale infrastructure projects and an ongoing budget deficit.
Unions NSW is vocal in the campaign for universal paid parental leave (PPL) that is guaranteed through government legislation and paid at wage replacement rates for 6 months. Access to PPL provides the best outcomes for new parents and babies while also encouraging women’s increased participation in the workforce.
The NSW Liberal/National Government delivered a classic ‘election budget’ with short-term spending announcements and limited commitments to recurring expenditure for services and staffing.
NSW believes temporary work visas should be built around a framework that provides workers with a timely and accessible mechanism to lodge claims against exploitative employers and are paid on par with local workers.
Unpaid work such as internships, need effective regulation and enforcement to ensure they promote learning and development opportunities. Unions NSW believes all forms of unpaid work should be covered by a national code of practice, enforceable through the Fair Work Commission.
The pace and scale of changes in work are impossible to accurately predict. It is the role of Government to ensure we enter the uncertainty of the future well prepared; to ensure the benefits of technological advancement can be shared fairly and safeguards are put in place to ensure technology isn’t used as a tool to undermine pay and working conditions.