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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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
Illegal child work fine not enough
Illegal child work fine not enough
UnionsWA today responded to a statement from the WA Department of Commerce regarding a $30,000 fine imposed on Kentucky Fried Chicken Pty Ltd for illegal work of children aged less than 15 years.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“On 153 separate occasions KFC Pty Ltd in outlets in Ellenbrook, Rockingham and Forrestfield worked children aged under 15 on shifts after 10.00 pm.
“This included a 14-year-old finishing at 1.17 am.
“This is dangerous exploitation.
“There were 21 unlawful shifts worked on school nights.
“So child education was also compromised.
“This case is the worst kind of introduction to work for young people.
“We are at the start of the school holidays and many young people are looking to do some paid work to get valuable experience and help the family budget.
“If the current laws result in a fine of only $30,000 in such a case then those laws need to be made stronger.
“The laws also need to be policed and I urge young people and parents to report such cases.
“This case shows the importance of maintaining public services that monitor and respond to illegal work.
“Minister O’Brien should give a commitment that the public sector staffing cut backs won’t affect the ability of the Department of Commerce to protect children from such exploitation.”

UnionsWA today responded to a statement from the WA Department of Commerce regarding a $30,000 fine imposed on Kentucky Fried Chicken Pty Ltd for illegal work of children aged less than 15 years.

 
Australia and Asia’s asbestos epidemic

Marking the beginning of Asbestos Awareness Week, UnionsWA today welcomed to WA an international anti-asbestos delegation of health and safety union advocates and warned that the epidemic of asbestos relates diseases in Asia also poses a risk to growing numbers of Australians and West Australians who visit the region.

 
Wednesday 21 November – Go home on time Day
Media Release  20 November 2012
Wednesday 21 November –
Go home on time Day
Staff at UnionsWA today waved placards at homeward-bound traffic on the Narrows Bridge to urge West Australians to go home on time.  Go home on time Day is an annual event co-ordinated by The Australia Institute and supported by the ACTU and beyondblue, with the aim of starting a national conversation about work-life balance.
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“I’m going home on time tomorrow to spend more time with my husband and children.”
Tim Dymond, UnionsWA Research and Industrial Officer said:
“I’m going to use the time to catalogue my comic collection.”
Madeleine Holme, Campaign Office said:
“I’m going to put my new running shoes to use at the gym then catch up with some mates at the pub.”
UnionsWA Media Officer, Philip O’Donoghue said:
“It’s takeaway and TV for me.”
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“OK there is a serious side to this.
“Each year, Australians work more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime, which is the equivalent of a $72 billion ‘gift’ to employers.
“Recent research by The Australia Institute has found that working hours are often unpredictable with around one in five Australians reporting that they have little or no idea what time they will finish work on any particular day.
“Mental Ill-health is a growing problem, made worse by untaken annual leave, insecure and unpredictable work and very long hours of work on average compared with other OECD countries.
“Frankly, we should get a life.”
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au
Key Facts:
• Compared with other OECD countries, Australia has the highest average full-time working hours for employees at 44 hours per week. (Source: Workplace Research Centre at The University of Sydney, October 2008. http://www.workplace.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/7FD73B96-DFDA-42B8-A563-9968EC1E55D3/0/111WanrooyBuchananCampbell.pdf)
• Australian workers have about 129 million days of untaken annual leave (Source: Roy Morgan Research http://info.noleavenolife.com).
• Workplace stress is costing the Australian economy $14.81 billion a year with a direct cost to employers of $10.11 billion a year.  3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress.  (Source: Medibank  http://www.medibank.com.au/client/documents/pdfs/the-cost-of-workplace-stress.pdf)
• Comparing suicide rates from 2001-2005 with 2006-2010, the ABS has found that Australia-wide these have fallen, however rates have increased in WA. 3309.0 - Suicides, Australia, 2010 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/3309.0Media%20Release12010
Find out more about Go Home On Time Day 2012 at http://www.gohomeontimeday.org.au, and download and print a poster for your workplace.

Staff at UnionsWA today waved placards at homeward-bound traffic on the Narrows Bridge to urge West Australians to go home on time.  Go home on time Day is an annual event co-ordinated by The Australia Institute and supported by the ACTU and beyondblue, with the aim of starting a national conversation about work-life balance.

 
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