Change The Rules
IEUA-QNT members know the rules need to change. With the federal election imminent, members will soon have the opportunity to make these critical changes a reality by voting to change the government.
- Inequality is at a 70-year high in Australia.
- The insidious spread of insecure work is preventing workers from planning for the future.
- There is one set of rules for employers and one for employees.
- Workers face the threat of having their hard fought working conditions stripped back to the Award.
- Empowered by industrial laws operating in their favour, employers simply refuse to bargain.
- Working women continue to face wage and superannuation inequity.
These are just some of the ways in which the rules are broken in this country and why, as IEUA-QNT members, we need to take action to Change The Rules, according to IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke.
“Not since the oppressive industrial laws imposed by the Howard LNP government in the mid-2000s have IEUA-QNT members, along with workers across the country, faced such a threat to their future professional and personal lives.
“IEUA-QNT members have the chance to change that future.
“To change the legacy of what we leave for the next generation and be part of ensuring a fair future for all Australians.
“That future can only come by ensuring we Change The Rules and in order to do so, the first step is to change the government at the next federal election,” Mr Burke said.
“Regardless of your political views, our working lives are at risk and the current Morrison LNP government has no plan or desire for that to change.
“Other political parties do, and so there is a choice to be made at this election.
“If the current federal government will not Change The Rules, then we need to change the federal government.” Mr Burke said.
Labour Day / May Day will take place during the long weekend of 4-6 May 2019, with celebrations scheduled across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The message IEUA-QNT members will be sharing this Labour Day and May Day is, It's time to Change The Rules.
Employer threats to withdraw existing collective agreements highlight the need for employees to avoid complacency when it comes to keeping their working rights and conditions.
This has been evidenced at a Brisbane kindergarten where inappropriate advice and a lack of consultation resulted in the employer attempting to terminate their collective agreement.
The kindergarten’s current agreement was agreed to by the then Committee in 2016 and was to remain until the end of 2018. However, employees at the kindergarten were told that their rates of pay and conditions would be subject to individual common law contracts of employment.
Introducing individual employment contracts for each employee contains no security in an employee’s wages and conditions and could instead result in reduced wages, increased hours of duty, increased attendance at the kindergarten and the mandating of additional work requirements.
It is clear that a broken collective bargaining system — with laws that allow employers to terminate agreements — contributes to downward pressure on wages and conditions. Many employers are now treating collective bargaining with a sense of indifference and it is now time for our industrial rules to change.
In 2016, Queensland Catholic school employers were relentless in their attempt to frustrate members’ ability to take protected action. Our union ticked every box to ensure the protected action followed the correct process. Part of the protected action was a ban on attending staff meetings.
However, employers seemed set on their agenda to stop members’ voices being heard, and began an argument surrounding the definition of “staff meeting”. The employers’ challenge was an intentional attempt to obstruct protected action and disengage workers from the collective bargaining process.
The employers’ refusal to acknowledge any definition of a staff meeting other than their own led to a challenge in the Federal Circuit Court, where the employers were prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal representation and assistance all to create distraction, and disregard their responsibility to listen to their employees.