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News News $6 an hour deal baffles pizza shop teenager
Brentwood teenager Kurt Pollie was baffled when the pizza shop he had just started working for asked him to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement that would see him earn just $6 an hour, be contracted for five years and be on call 24 hours a day. Kurt, 15, said he did not understand the AWA so he asked his father, Lewis Stevens, to look over it before he signed it. "I knew from other people that ($6 an hour) is very low pay because usually it's about $8 or so (for people my age)," he said.

Mr Stevens, who is a volunteer union delegate, said he was disturbed by the "deceptive" AWA, which asked his son to sign away many conditions and accept a very low rate of pay.

"I'm actually quite well read and it took me a while to actually pick this out," he said.

"If you were perhaps less educated or from a non-English speaking background you wouldn't have had a clue that these things were what they actually meant when you signed it."

Kurt refused to sign the AWA on his father's advice and the pizza shop did not employ him but paid him for the few hours he had worked.

Mr Stevens said he was not sure if the AWA was legal.

The State Government arranged for Kurt and Mr Stevens to speak to the media yesterday at the launch of its $385,000 taxpayer-funded advertising campaign associated with its Fair Employment Advocate unit, headed by high-profile unionist Helen Creed. The campaign involves radio, television and newspaper advertisements over the next six weeks that promote a message that the Federal WorkChoices laws have made what is fair in the workplace "unclear" and encourage people to contact the unit for information.

Deputy Opposition leader Troy Buswell said the advertisements were anti-Federal Government propaganda and a waste of money.

Employment Protection Minister Michelle Roberts denied Mr Buswell's claims and said the campaign was far more cost-effective than the Federal Government's WorkChoices advertising blitz, which she said had cost tens of millions of dollars.

"There are real concerns with WorkChoices," Mrs Roberts said. "This campaign is about providing information. There are entitlements that all workers have and we need to make that clear, we need to make that fair."

She said there might be further advertising campaigns associated with the Fair Employment Advocate.
 
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