News & events - UnionsWA2

WA Wages and Jobs: Keeper and Seeker Payments still needed

UnionsWA has today commented on the release by the Australians Bureau of Statistics of data on wages and jobs in WA and nationally since the commencement of the pandemic. The figures show that Western Australia’s economic downturn has been more severe than elsewhere in Australia and that, within WA, the Inner Perth, Wheatbelt, Bunbury and outback WA have been most severely impacted. UnionsWA has called for the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment programs to continue to a significant extent or entirely.


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Delayed rise for low paid disappointing

UnionsWA has today responded to the decision by the WA Industrial Relations Commission for the State Wage Case, which determines the pay of around 250,000 working West Australians reliant on awards, including those on the WA Minimum Wage, trainees and apprentices.

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Urgent work compensation reform welcomed

UnionsWA has today welcomed an announcement by the McGowan Government that it will ask the WA Parliament to enact needed and urgent as well as COVID-related reform to workers’ compensation laws that protect the rights of working West Australians. The door-stop for media, with responses from public sector unions, can be view here:




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Bill to better protect 250,000 West Australians

UnionsWA has today commented on the release by the WA Government of a Bill to address anomalies and unfairness in WA’s industrial relations law, which underpin the rights of around 200,000 working West Australians. For the first time the Bill will enable those who have been subject to workplace bullying to seek help from the WA Industrial Relations Commission. IN the video below Meredith Hammat outline the key aspects of the Bill.


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Asbestos regulation critical

UnionsWA has commented on the release today of a report by the WA Auditor General critical of the licencing for asbestos removal and handling by WorkSafe WA.

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Time to Reinvest in the Public Sector

UnionsWA has commented on the release of the Mid-Year Financial Projections for 2019-20. The projections indicate improved finances bringing the budget back to a surplus of $2.6 billion. UnionsWA encourages the government to redirect spending to investing in the public sector.

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New Silica Standard Welcomed

Today Safe Work Australia has published a revised Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminants which will include a revised standard for respirable crystalline silica to an average of .05mg/m3 reduced from the current standard of .1mg/m3.

Following the devastating discovery of silicosis affecting hundreds of workers from the artificial stone industry Australian governments met in November and agreed to the new standard.
Unfortunately, due to Western Australia not yet to adopting harmonised Work, Health and Safety laws the standard cannot be automatically applied here. The laws were recently introduced into parliament by the McGowan Government [1].
Exposure to silica dust is commonly caused through working with artificial stone such as kitchen benchtops and in mining and construction.
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Wage theft action needed

UnionsWA has welcomed the release today by the WA Government of the report of the inquiry into wage theft led by Tony Beech, former Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The report and response by the government are available online here.

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Modern work safety Bill welcomed

UnionsWA has today welcomed the tabling in the WA Parliament by the McGowan Government of its Bill to modernise workplace health and safety law in WA.  The safety at work of almost all working people in WA, over 1.3 million people, is governed by these laws. 

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New WA work health survey; old laws inadequate

UnionsWA has today released the results of a major work health and safety survey of over 1,500 West Australians.  The report release anticipates a work health and safety reform Bill that the McGowan Government has committed to introduce into the WA Parliament before it closes for 2019 and current consultations to overhaul existing work health and safety regulations. The survey report can be viewed and downloaded online here:


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