NT women members creating change
Union members in the Northern Territory are sending a clear message: a collective effort is needed to tackle issues that are hurting working women.
At the 2018 Unions NT International Women’s Day Conference, members from unions across industries agreed that the current industrial laws in Australia limit the capacity of workers to establish fair wages and working conditions.
Employers are able to dismiss proposals for provisions that address reasonable community standards, such as domestic violence leave, because there are no mechanisms in place that require them to provide much needed community standards.
IEUA-QNT Branch Executive member and teacher Erica Schultz said the only way to address these issues is if we, as a collective, call for change on a legislative level.
“We all have common problems in our working lives which require a consistent and collaborative effort in order to solve.”
Ms Schultz described some of the distinct challenges faced by members in the Territory, as well as universal ones shared with workers across industries in Australia.
“In the NT we face the challenge of distance, particularly for remote communities, which makes creating a sense of unity and connection so important.
“We also share the frustration of workers across Australia created by issues such as low wage growth, tenuous nature of our rights at work, and security in superannuation.
“For women particularly the reality of this issue is alarming — with the typical 44 year old woman currently having $18,000 in her superannuation account.”
Broken laws see members hurting
Ms Schultz said teachers in the Territory are feeling the effects of Australia’s broken industrial laws.
“Teachers continue to work harder than ever to improve outcomes for their students’ education — they too need better and stronger rights at work to ensure their jobs are secure and wages are fair,” she said.
Members can get involved in the effort to change Australia’s broken industrial laws at www.changetherules.org.au