On behalf of our members and communities we represent, we, the undersigned organisations, are gravely concerned by the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015 and the implications it has for Western Australia’s democracy and the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protest.
Rev Rick Morell of the Uniting Church speaking to press after the release of the joint statement.Read more
The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has released a report by Professor Alan Duncan on the China Free Trade Agreement. The report described concerns about labour market testing as "legitimate", and further that there "is some nervousness about the agreed policy for Chinese-financed investment projects in Australia being supported by migrant workers without the requirement for local labour market testing. Trade agreements shouldn’t be allowed to affect labour standards adversely, or crowd out local labour market opportunities." (page 58).Read more
UnionsWA has today commented on the release of work fatality figures in WA that show these are the highest for seven years just as massive cuts are affecting WorkSafe.Read more
UnionsWA today criticised Premier Barnett for his promise to both extend Sunday trading and weekend hours of work as well as cutting penalty ratesRead more
The ACTU and UnionsWA today announced details for their strategy during the Canning by-election campaign.Read more
UnionsWA today commented on the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of new data that shows the difference in pay between women and men in Western Australia is the worst in the country.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“These latest figures show that WA continues to have the worst gender-pay gap in Australia.
“On average women in WA get paid $484 per week less than men in full time work.
“That’s twenty-five per cent less pay for women.
“When women take on caring roles the pay gap can be entrenched for the rest of their lives including into retirement through lower superannuation.
“By itself this is wrong and unfair.
“It also has broader, long term consequences.
“This means women are more likely to be financially insecure.
“Women are more likely than men to have to meet family costs of living that are already high in WA.
“It is more important in WA than elsewhere that governments and employers do more to support women in the workforce and to assist with the costs of caring.
“Stronger measures are needed to address pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, whether it’s losing permanency after returning from maternity leave or employers refusing requests to work flexible hours.
“Paid parenting leave is also very important and the weakening of this by the Abbott Government can only make the gender pay gap worse.
“It is important that childcare is affordable and supports for caring for people with disability and older Australians are adequate.
“When we as a society fail to be fairer, it is often women who are disadvantaged.”
Data drawn from ‘Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2015’ (Australian Bureau of Statistics) in particular data tables 3 (Australia), 13A (NSW), 13B (Victoria), 13C (Queensland), 13D (SA), 13E (WA), 13F (Tasmania) and available here.
UnionsWA has today commented on the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of July unemployment figures showing a significant increase in unemployment in WA. This has occurred as WA Government redundancies arising from Budget cuts begin to take effect.Read more
As part of the 2015 WA State Budget, the Barnett Government has cut staff within WorkSafe, the principal occupation safety and health agency in WA. WorkSafe is responsible for investigations into work accidents and fatalities as well as monitoring breaches to work health and safety laws to prevent accidents and fatalities.
The projected budget cuts to WorkSafe for the next four years total $4.1million [see 'Spending Changes' table pp 494].
The Community and Public Sector Union - Civil Service Association (CPSU/CSA), has issued a media statement, available here.
The cutbacks proposed by the Department of Commerce proposed will:
- Abolish ten WorkSafe Inspector positions, lowering total full time equivalent positions from 103 to 93 - that's a 10% reduction in the number of WorkSafe inspectors.
- Abolish one Inspector Development and Training position and three Community Education positions, effectively ceasing the provision of preventative education activities.
- Abolish one Librarian position, reducing the capacity to keep up-to-date with changing work health and safety information.
- Abolish three Business Support positions, meaning WorkSafe Inspectors will have to spend more time on administrative work and less time for workplace inspections.
- Reduce the level of service provided by medical practitioners engaged by WorkSafe to provide phone contact/advice.
In short, despite a growing workforce in WA, many in hazardous jobs, there will be a greatly reduced capacity to investigate work accidents and breaches of the law, and less capacity to prevent work accidents and fatalities.
Neil Byrne is sponsoring a petition.
Neil Byrne has been a Mechanical Fitter in the power industry all his life and has witnessed work fatalities and injuries that should never have happened.
He's asking you to join in the fight against cuts to WorkSafe inspectors and other staff by signing his sponsored petition here.
Will you sign and share this among your family and friends?
Neil Byrne: "WorkSafe staff have not yet been made redundant, so if we act now we can overturn this terrible decision."
This is an initiative supported by UnionsWA and Save Our Services.
The number of 457 visa applications that require employers to advertise the jobs to Australian workers first could slump to just 25 per cent because of Australia’s free trade agreements (FTA).Read more
UnionsWA has today commented the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of labour force data showing a continuing rise in unemployment in WA particularly among men.Read more