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International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers
Join us in remembering all workers who have been killed or injured in the Workplace.
When:   10:30 am
Monday, 29th April
Where: Solidarity Park (corner of Parliament Place & Harvest Terrace West Perth)
Remembrance prayer and service to be conducted by Rosemary Hudson Miller.

Join us in remembering all workers who have been killed or injured in the Workplace.
When:  10:30 amMonday, 29th April
Where: Solidarity Park (corner of Parliament Place & Harvest Terrace West Perth)

Remembrance prayer and service to be conducted by Rosemary Hudson Miller.

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Barnett promise: ¼ mil lowest paid to fall further behind while costs rise
Media Release           8 March 2013
Barnett promise: ¼ mil lowest paid to fall further behind while costs rise
UnionsWA today released its detailed criticism of the Barnett Government’s draft industrial relations legislation and highlighted how proposed changes will lead to a weaker minimum wage system and poorer wage outcomes in the face of rising costs of living.  More than a quarter of a million of the lowest paid rely on the WA Minimum Wage and linked State Awards.  The Bill also proposes to make it easier for employers to make deductions from pays.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary of UnionsWA said:
“Under Barnett’s proposed industrial relations Bill those already poorly paid will fall further behind while costs of living continue to rise.
“More than a quarter of a million West Australians will get poorer Minimum Wages and State Awards.
“Barnett also goes to the WA election proposing to give more powers to employers to make deductions from pay.
“Barnett has previously opposed penalty rates for low paid hospitality and retail workers and has moved WA towards the weakest health and safety laws in Australia.
“Barnett has claimed that the Bill will align WA’s workplace relations laws with the rest of Australia, which is not true.
“In the WA Parliament on 14 November, 2012 Barnett said of this Bill, quote: “no-one will be worse off under this legislation; I can guarantee that”.
“This Bill breaks that promise.
“The Barnett Government’s Green Bill on industrial relations was introduced in the dying days of 2012.
“If he’s real, then he also needs to reject the minimum wage and pay deduction changes of his Bill.
“By the slight of many hands, the WA Minimum Wage will be eroded over time.
“Proposed new criteria will make the ‘capacity to pay’ of very small businesses an important factor in determining wage increases. High and rising costs of living are a fact of life for all working people in WA.
“Further, the WA Industrial Relations Commission may not even hold hearings for minimum wage cases.
“While Federal laws that replaced Work Choices allowed for the unfair pay of women and men to begin to be addressed, this Bill will do nothing about the large and growing gender pay gap in WA, the worst in Australia.
“At the same time as weakening the conditions of the lowest paid in WA, the Bill will restrict the access of working people to the advocacy and whistle-blower role of unions.”
Further information:
The current WA state minimum wage is $627.70 per week.
Quotation from Premier Barnett - Page 8554 of the 14 November Assembly Hansard:
The UnionsWA ‘Response of UnionsWA to the proposed Labour Relations Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill 2012’ (March 2013) is available upon request.
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

UnionsWA today released its detailed criticism of the Barnett Government’s draft industrial relations legislation and highlighted how proposed changes will lead to a weaker minimum wage system and poorer wage outcomes in the face of rising costs of living.

Read more...
 
New Data: Key trades training down in WA
Media Statement     6 March 2012
New Data: Key trades training down in WA
UnionsWA commented on today’s release by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) of data that shows that in the key trades training areas of automotive, engineering and construction WA now has 2,200 fewer apprentices in-training than four years ago.  .
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“According to recent data from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, compared with when the Barnett Government came to office in 2008 we now have 2,200 fewer people in training for automotive, engineering and construction jobs.
“The message by unions to employers and governments that more need to be done to train and employ young people for skilled jobs has been vindicated by these statistics.
“While overall the numbers of people in low-skilled and short training course has risen, we’re going backwards in meeting the high skill needs of industry and future job security.
“With all machinery and vehicles that need to be maintained as well as construction work going on in WA you’d expect more training in these critical areas.
“In these economically critical skilled trades in the automotive and engineering fields the proportion of the workforce in trade apprenticeships has fallen from 18.3% in 2008 to 12.7% in 2012 and in construction from 23.7% to 19.8%.
“If employers and governments don’t take on apprentices to build highly skilled workforce we will forever be at the mercy of lazy employers who just want to give such jobs to temporary migrant labour.”
WA:  In-training as at the end of each quarter by selected training characteristics, Sept 2008–12 ('000)
Sept. 2008 Sept. 2009 Sept. 2010 Sept. 2011 Sept. 2012
Technicians and trades workers 23.4 22.0 21.9 22.4 24.0
32 - Automotive and engineering 8.6 7.6 6.9 7.3 7.8
33 - Construction trades workers 5.2 4.6 4.5 4.1 3.8
Proportion of total workforce in-training
September 2008 to 2012, WA
Sept. 2008 Sept. 2009 Sept. 2010 Sept. 2011 Sept. 2012
Technicians and trades workers 13.5% 13.4% 12.8% 13.5% 12.5%
32 - Automotive and engineering 18.3% 15.1% 13.9% 14.6% 12.7%
33 - Construction trades workers 23.7% 21.7% 18.8% 17.9% 19.8%
Sources:
Australian vocational education and training statistics: apprentices and trainees 2012 - September quarter, National Centre for Vocational Education Research http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/2604.html. Note: figures included here are sourced from spread sheets found under ‘Data’; ‘State and territory data tables’ (you may have to register – it is free); ‘WA’ tab; ‘Table 9 WA:  In-training as at the end of each quarter by selected training characteristics, 2007–12 ('000)’
Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2012, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/PrimaryMainFeatures/6291.0.55.003?OpenDocument
Note: Figures for training rates apply the standard measure of number in-training (see above) as a proportion of total workforce (ABS).  Total workforce figures are available under: ‘Downloads’;
datacube ‘E08_aug96 - Employed Persons by Sex, Occupation, State, Status in Employment, August 1996 onwards’; Click on SRD to open the ‘Supertable’ file.
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

UnionsWA commented on today’s release by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) of data that shows that in the key trades training areas of automotive, engineering and construction WA now has 2,200 fewer apprentices in-training than four years ago.  

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WA women earn $470 pw less than men, worst in Australia
Media Release      21 February 2013
WA women earn $470 pw less than men, worst in Australia
UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“Today’s ABS release has the gender pay gap in WA the worst in Australia. On average women in WA earn $469 per week or $24,393 a year less than men.
“This is far worse than the gender pay gap across Australia with women earning $262 per week or $14,000 a year less than men nationally.
“WA is going backwards, the gap is actually getting worse, not better.
“In November 2009 the earnings of men were 24.1% higher than women, now those earnings are 26.9% higher.
“The costs of living in WA are high and rising, so that makes this difference all that more stressful.
“For women to be earning so much less is not good for workplaces, or for relationships between women and men at home or in the community.
“To bridge this gap, we need to do more, especially in WA.
“Employers need to improve their recruitment practices, particularly for women who want to work in non-traditional occupations such as those in the resources sector.
“In traditional occupations held by women such as in health and community services, the pay needs to be better.
“The success of the Australian Services Union in its pay equity case under the Fair Work Act will do much to redress poor pay of community sector workers.
“Our industrial relations system has an important role.
“The introduction by the Federal Government of the paid maternity leave scheme and the proposed new right to request flexible work arrangements such as part time work, are examples of how women can be supported to remain in the workforce.
“We also need to make work more secure. Casual and after-hours work loadings have a role, but security of work and flexible arrangements for work are a better way to go, especially for women.”
Source: ABS release 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Nov 2012 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6302.0Nov%202012?OpenDocument Note: Annual earnings have been calculated by multiplying averaged weekly earnings by 52.  Ordinary weekly earnings for women in WA were estimated at $1,278 and for men at $1,747 in November, 2012.
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary, UnionsWA said:

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Slip, slap, slop not just for kids

In the midst of yet another heat wave, Cancer Council WA and UnionsWA today warned that those who work outdoors daily – almost half a million West Australians – and their employers need to ensure proper protection from the sun.
Cancer Council WA Director of Education and Research, Terry Slevin said:

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Tradies and lecturers expose TAFE cuts
MEDIA RELEASE   30 January 2013
Tradies and lecturers expose TAFE cuts
The State School Teachers’ Union of WA, representing TAFE lecturers and the WA Jobs from WA Resources group today released new figures detailing $50 million in TAFE funding cuts since the Barnett Government came to office.  TAFE lecturers and tradies will be handing out flyers at public transport stations and depots across Perth on Wednesday 30 January to highlight concerns in the lead up to the WA state election.
Pat Byrne, Vice President of the State School Teachers’ Union of WA said:
“Since coming to office the Barnett Government has reduced TAFE funding by $50 million.
“Polytechnic West covering eastern metropolitan Perth including Midlands and Gosnells has had funding cut by $11.5 million.
“Over the same period private training providers have had their funding increased by more than $50 million.
“The trend towards privatisation is clear.
“New systems for spending of Commonwealth training money must be decided upon by the WA Government. Before the election Barnett and McGowan should come clean about what they propose.
“Privatising TAFE means higher fees, fewer TAFE courses, campus closures and, ultimately, poorer workforce skills.
Steve McCartney, a fitter by trade, and spokesperson for WA Jobs from WA Resources as well as Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said:
“Larger and especially smaller engineering companies are folding as they wait for Simon O’Brien’s failed ten-point plan for local content to work.
“These companies can’t put on apprentices due to a lack of work, meaning that we have thousands of young people who are unable to get or complete an apprenticeship.
“Failing to address the local content and TAFE funding problems in WA is denying our kids an education, a job and a future.
“Private training providers focus on improving their profits, often by cutting corners and costs which lower training standards.  They tend to market short and low skill courses.
“The AMWU supports TAFE and putting more funding into the valuable outcomes they deliver for our kids.”
Pat Byrne and Steve McCartney are available for comment.
Further information:
Details of TAFE funding cuts are sourced from answers provided by Minister Collier to Parliamentary Question LC6330.
See www.TAFE4ALLWA.org.au
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

The State School Teachers’ Union of WA, representing TAFE lecturers and the WA Jobs from WA Resources group today released new figures detailing $50 million in TAFE funding cuts since the Barnett Government came to office.

Read more...
 
Retail up, down or steady: no reason for pay cut
Media Release       9 January 2013
Retail up, down or steady: no reason for pay cut
UnionsWA has commented on today’s release by the ABS of retail figures for WA and issued related data from the ABS on the seasonal fall in earnings for private sector workers.  UnionsWA has called on employers to cancel their campaign for pay cuts for retail and hospitality workers.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“Today’s ABS data on the retail sector in WA shows that after more than three years of continuous growth, the sector is stable.  Retailers have won Sunday trading yet continue to campaign to cut the wages of low paid retail and hospitality workers by seeking to abolish penalty rates.
“This week the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA released its Survey of Business Expectations predicting harsh economic times in the future and reporting that employers nominate wages costs and staff turnover as their first and fourth greatest pressures.
“Employer groups seem to want to cut pay whether the economy is good or bad, and wish for a magic pudding where they can cut pay while improving staff retention!
“Now is a good time to take a reality-check on the employer campaign to abolish penalty rates.
“The extra income from penalty rates earned during the pre-Christmas rush and New Year sales are, right now, important for low paid retail and hospitality workers so they can get through January when there is less work.
“Many workers are casual and don’t get holiday pay.
“ABS data shows that WA private sector employee earnings declined on average by $107 per month from November 2011 to February 2012.  During other times of the year earnings typically rise slightly to keep pace with costs of living.
“Of course it’s hard for businesses to meet some challenges such as online retail.
“A focus on higher skills and more secure work and pay are likely to deliver a workforce that has strong customer services skills.
“But it’s hard to have confidence if the only response from some employer groups is to cut wages for the low paid at a time of rising costs of living in WA.”
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au
Sources:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (8501.0 Retail Trade, Australia, November 2012) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8501.0?OpenDocument
Australian Bureau of Statistics (6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2012) for full time, adult; total earnings (i.e. including any paid overtime) in WA for private sector employees.
Survey of Business Expectations, December 2012, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA  http://www.cciwa.com/docs/economics/sbe-survey-december-2012.pdf

UnionsWA has commented on today’s release by the ABS of retail figures for WA and issued related data from the ABS on the seasonal fall in earnings for private sector workers.  UnionsWA has called on employers to cancel their campaign for pay cuts for retail and hospitality workers.

Read more...
 
Retail up, down or steady: no reason for pay cut
Media Release       9 January 2013
Retail up, down or steady: no reason for pay cut
UnionsWA has commented on today’s release by the ABS of retail figures for WA and issued related data from the ABS on the seasonal fall in earnings for private sector workers.  UnionsWA has called on employers to cancel their campaign for pay cuts for retail and hospitality workers.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“Today’s ABS data on the retail sector in WA shows that after more than three years of continuous growth, the sector is stable.  Retailers have won Sunday trading yet continue to campaign to cut the wages of low paid retail and hospitality workers by seeking to abolish penalty rates.
“This week the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA released its Survey of Business Expectations predicting harsh economic times in the future and reporting that employers nominate wages costs and staff turnover as their first and fourth greatest pressures.
“Employer groups seem to want to cut pay whether the economy is good or bad, and wish for a magic pudding where they can cut pay while improving staff retention!
“Now is a good time to take a reality-check on the employer campaign to abolish penalty rates.
“The extra income from penalty rates earned during the pre-Christmas rush and New Year sales are, right now, important for low paid retail and hospitality workers so they can get through January when there is less work.
“Many workers are casual and don’t get holiday pay.
“ABS data shows that WA private sector employee earnings declined on average by $107 per month from November 2011 to February 2012.  During other times of the year earnings typically rise slightly to keep pace with costs of living.
“Of course it’s hard for businesses to meet some challenges such as online retail.
“A focus on higher skills and more secure work and pay are likely to deliver a workforce that has strong customer services skills.
“But it’s hard to have confidence if the only response from some employer groups is to cut wages for the low paid at a time of rising costs of living in WA.”
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au
Sources:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (8501.0 Retail Trade, Australia, November 2012) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8501.0?OpenDocument
Australian Bureau of Statistics (6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2012) for full time, adult; total earnings (i.e. including any paid overtime) in WA for private sector employees.
Survey of Business Expectations, December 2012, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA  http://www.cciwa.com/docs/economics/sbe-survey-december-2012.pdf

UnionsWA has commented on today’s release by the ABS of retail figures for WA and issued related data from the ABS on the seasonal fall in earnings for private sector workers.  UnionsWA has called on employers to cancel their campaign for pay cuts for retail and hospitality workers.

Read more...
 
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