$110 billion Christmas present, from you to the boss

Rebecca Barrigos The festive season is looking very merry for Australian bosses. This year, workers clocked up unpaid overtime equivalent to a whopping $110 billion in stolen wages according to new estimates by the Australia Institute. Walking the tightrope: have Australians achieved work/life balance? rev...CONTINUE READING

Public sector workers vote to strike

CPSU member, Canberra An unprecedented attack on pay and conditions has provoked a fight from federal public sector workers. In one of the largest protected action ballots ever conducted, workers at the Department of Human Services (DHS) have overwhelmingly endorsed industrial action as part of enterprise agree...CONTINUE READING

Health workers rally against Christmas closure

Jerome Small Mental health workers from Melbourne’s Austin hospital have rallied against cuts to services. Management at the Austin recently released a plan to close its child mental health inpatient unit – the only one of its type in Victoria – for three weeks over the Christmas period. Staff object t...CONTINUE READING

Brisbane workers' lunch room sit-in continues

Paul DM Supporters rallied at the front gates of the Smith’s Snackfood Company factory in Brisbane on 27 November in solidarity with National Union of Workers (NUW) members who are staging a sit-in at the site. The sit-in, which started with the day shift, was triggered by management’s demand that...CONTINUE READING

Battle over industry super funds­­­­

Liz Ross Control of industry superannuation funds is a prize that the government and the bosses will go to any length to win, even spending tens of millions on a royal commission to get hold of them. And the Heydon commission looks set to deliver on this. On 31 October, its senior lawyer delivered...CONTINUE READING

Fewer protections for migrant workers – government

Jess Payne The federal government has released the findings of its recent review into the 457 visa scheme. The Robust New Foundations report makes 22 recommendations; all are intended to further deregulate the employer-sponsored migration scheme. “We want [457 visas] to be more flexible”, said Tony A...CONTINUE READING

Victorian firefighters win

Jamiel Deeb The Victorian firefighters’ union has won a major legal battle against the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB). On 3 November, after months of deliberation, the Fair Work Commission rejected the MFB’s application to scrap the 2010 enterprise agreement it had negotiated with the union. The MFB...CONTINUE READING

NSW Teachers Federation lines up with government

Dave Clarke, NSWTF member Collaboration between the NSW Education Department, the state Liberal government and the NSW Teachers Federation has produced new professional development requirements for public school teachers. The performance and development framework, released publicly on 7 November, will mean more wor...CONTINUE READING

WA unionists protest fines threat

Alexis Vassiley Unionists rallied outside the Federal Court in Perth on 7 November, where 76 construction workers faced charges for attending a rally in February 2013. The allegations against them were brought by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC). The workers are each threatened with a $10,200 fi...CONTINUE READING