Child protection system in crisis

  • 12 April 2024

There are too many children in need and not enough staff to provide support for them and the problem of protecting our vulnerable kids exists right across the country. Add in a failed experiment in offloading residential and foster care to non-government organisations (NGOs) and you have a pending disaster. Residential and/or Out Of Home Care has been outsourced to NGOs by governments over the past 20 years, resulting in the quality of services plummeting, teens in care being exploited, and the costs to run these services spiraling out of control.

Record Increases for new Collective Agreement Workers

  • 10 April 2024

Recently released data by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations for the December 2023 quarter shows that average pay rises for workers covered by new collective agreements reached 4.3 percent which is a 15-year high.  The boost to workers’ incomes was fuelled by an increase in 227,000 more workers covered by collective agreements than a year earlier, with coverage reaching 2 million workers in total, or 16.7 percent of the workforce, up from 15.2 percent in December 2022.

Full-time jobs drive overall employment growth

  • 21 March 2024

The unemployment rate declined in February following a larger than usual number of people in December and January who had a job that they were waiting to start.  The unemployment rate has been around 3 per cent in 20 of the last 21 months, rising to 4.1 per cent in January only because workers took time for holidays at the start of 2024 before starting new jobs in February.

Universal Super a Union Win for all Workers

  • 29 February 2024

The Australian Council of Trade Unions pays tribute to the union pioneers and architects of industry superannuation but especially the tens of thousands of building workers who campaigned for superannuation and in so doing so, created the beachhead that turned super into a universal right for all working Australians. This week marks 40 years since the ACTU’s historic decision to endorse the campaign of the Building Workers’ Industrial Union (BWIU) to establish a national superannuation scheme in the Australian building industry, a campaign that improved the nation forever.

Price gouging and unfair pricing practices

  • 20 February 2024

Former ACCC Chair Professor Allan Fels handed down his wide-ranging report this month into price gouging and unfair pricing practices.  The Report revealed what many had long suspected, that big business, in the form of banks, electricity companies, supermarkets and a host of others have been using their market dominance and a host of dodgy practices to push up prices during a cost-of-living crisis.

The report made 35 key recommendations.

IR Loopholes Closed

  • 12 February 2024

The Closing Loopholes No 2 legislation has passed parliament, after the House accepted amendments made in the Senate.  The original Loopholes Bill went to an inquiry last year that continued beyond the splitting of the Bill and the first tranche's passage through parliament.  The Senate split the Loopholes Bill last year, and passed a significant portion of the measures in the original legislation before Christmas. This left the No 2 Bill to be dealt with this year.

The CL No. 2 Bill's passage through Parliament will:

Closing Loopholes: Important Repairs to IR Laws

  • 5 February 2024

On the final sitting day of Federal Parliament for 2023, the government’s amended Closing Loopholes bill was passed with the support of Greens and key independents.  The amended laws include new rules to outlaw wage theft as a criminal offence, reforms to better protect some workers’ redundancy entitlements and changes to enhance work health and safety.

Labour hire workers can now no longer be paid less than employees doing the same job in their workplaces as a result of the industrial reforms passed.

Making Multinationals Pay their Fair Share

  • 22 January 2024

Tax avoidance by multinational corporations reduces the funding available for the essential public services that we all rely on and much more needs to be done to tackle tax dodging.  Increasingly our members are facing tighter budgets which impact on the ability to meet the community’s needs in many areas.  Australians need stronger laws and more transparency on multinationals tax affairs in order to raise the additional revenue needed for public investments that will create a better society and stronger economic future for all of us.

Prison Officers plea for new laws

  • 6 January 2024

Our NSW Public Service Association is advocating for the implementation of national laws to ensure the protection of officers using lethal weapons following the death of an inmate.  NSW Public Service Association’s general secretary Stewart Little said while the case happened in his state there were implications for prison officers and other law enforcers nationally in use of force.  Moving high-risk convicted criminals through the community for medical, legal or funeral attendance will need new laws to give officers confidence to use lethal force to prevent an escape he said.

Blanket Public Sector Wage Policy Dismantled

  • 19 December 2023

The WA government has abandoned its blanket, public sector-wide wages policy, instead opting to return to individual negotiations with unions.  Premier Roger Cook said the move will allow more flexibility in negotiations and allow for "fair but financially sustainable" increases.  In recent years the government has negotiated conditions and bonuses with individual unions, but locked in a set pay rise for more than 140,000 public sector staff.  Cook said moving away from all public sector workers being offered the same pay rise would deliver greater flexibility in the bargaining process, to