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Once upon a time, universities were all about...

By Gabe Gooding, President of the WA Division of the National Tertiary Education Union.

Many of us remember our university days with fondness, but today’s Uni students are facing a far different experience.

Today they are accumulating debt, which in some cases will be financially crippling for years to come, and are working multiple jobs just to support their studies in this new world of “user pays”… for everything.

Now taking Expressions of Interest for the Anna Stewart Memorial Project for 2010

UnionsWA will run the Anna Stewart Memorial Project over one week from Monday 8 November – Friday 12 November 2010. 

The project gives participants information about how unions work, why they exist, what unions are doing about industrial issues that effect working women and a chance to work on their confidence and be a leader in the workplace.

The annual Ernie Awards for sexism once again had far too many nominations

There was no shortage of nominations in the "industrial" category of the Ernie Awards for sexism at NSW parliament house on Thursday night with winners being determined in a noisy boo-off by the (female) guests.

This year, the 18th Ernies, the David Jones sexual harassment case has dominated, producing five nominations - though three are actually "Elaines", for comments by women least helpful to the sisterhood.

Unions support traditional owners in James Price Point dispute

WA unions are shocked that the Barnett government would attempt to compulsorily acquire land from Traditional Owners at James Price Point in the Kimberley in order to fast-track the building of a controversial gas processing plant. In doing this this, Premier Barnett is bypassing vital processes of negotiation and consultation with Traditional Owners.

The AMWU (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union) has put out a statement in support of the Kimberley Land Council  (KLC) and will convene a meeting with the KLC in the coming weeks to consider how the union movement can support the traditional owners in the Kimberley. The full text of the AMWU statement is available here.

GetUp! have also joined the campaign opposing Premier Barnett’s decision to compulsorily acquire James Price Point. You can add your name to the petition and support the campaign here.


UnionsWA congratulates Prime Minister Gillard
UnionsWA congratulates Julia Gillard on becoming the first female Australian Prime Minister elected to office.

The peak union body in Western Australia welcomes the decision of Independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to back the Labor Party in their attempt to form a minority government which now gives the country stability and security to progress on key Government policies such as broadband, climate change, regional infrastructure and education.
Equal Pay Day

Saturday the 4th of September marks Equal Pay Day. This date is representative of the extra 66 days women workers in Australian have to work after the end of the financial year to receive the same average pay check as men.

Pay equity is currently going backwards - in WA the pay gap between men and women is currently a staggering 23%. For information on ways you can recognise Equal Pay Day see the fact sheet below or visit the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workforce Agency website here.


Also see below for an article on the pay gap by UnionsWA Secretary, Simone McGurk.

Women in Australia won ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ in 1969. Federal legislation to ban discrimination on the basis of sex was introduced in 1984. Despite both these hard-fought for achievements the pay gap between men and women is now higher than it was at the height of the women's liberation movement. It is also growing.

Election campaign: thank you for all your help

A big THANK YOU to the many union activists and supporters who assisted with the WorkChoices – whatever the name never again campaign during the federal election.

Between us we letter-boxed over 80,000 WorkChoices leaflets, spoke to thousands of voters, handed out thousands of flyers at train stations, distributed 350 No WorkChoices signs in marginal Perth electorates, held numerous street stalls and staffed a large number of polling booths.

The message given to all parties was loud and clear:  working people expect a decent safety net, protection from unfair dismissal, collective bargaining and an independent umpire.

While we wait to see who will form government, we can feel proud that our message was a strong element of the campaign ….

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Sharryn Jackson Walks A Day as a Childcare Worker
The decisions politicians make can have a huge influence on our working lives.

That is why, at this election, the LHMU has asked a number of Federal candidates around the country to spend a day as a childcare worker.
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