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Home > News > 2018 > June > Catholic college outsourcing could cause redundancies

Catholic college outsourcing could cause redundancies

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The decision to outsource school cleaning to a labour hire company may well result in redundancies at Marist College Ashgrove in Queensland – another example of how Australia’s broken industrial laws continue to erode secure jobs.

The employer claims the move to outsource cleaning at the college will provide “efficiency and effectiveness”.                     

It is a decision that could lead to multiple redundancies among staff – some of whom have worked for the college more than 10 years – and one which is permitted by current industrial laws.

IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes said current laws have led to the emergence of the so-called ‘gig economy’ and a trend of insecure work, which schools are clearly not immune from.

“With 40% of Australia’s workforce in casual or insecure work, a foundational principle of Australian society – that of a secure job with fair pay – is now at risk,” Mr Hayes said.

“Our school Chapters have long dealt with employers seeking to outsource services staff jobs to external contractors and Marist College Ashgrove is just the latest example of this.”

Despite the efforts of the IEU Chapter at Marist College Ashgrove, including seeking to collaborate with the employer to resolve efficiency concerns about the college’s cleaning, the employer has remained firm in its decision to outsource.

Insecure work impacts our sector

Along with the trend of increased outsourcing, members in our sector can also face abuse of rolling-fixed term contracts, casualisation and the classification of some school roles as ‘independent contractors’, which keeps staff in insecure work.

“This model is designed to deny these workers basic entitlements such as superannuation, workers’ compensation, severance pay, unfair dismissal protections and leave entitlements.”

Mr Hayes said workers lacked power within current industrial laws and that these needed to change so that workers can fight back against wage stagnation, insecure work and the broken collective bargaining system.

“The push for secure jobs with basic workplace rights is a key part of the national union-led Change The Rules campaign,” Mr Hayes said.

“Union members across the country are uniting within this campaign to push for governments to amend our laws and return a fair balance of power to workers.

“Having a job that you can count on is a foundation of Australian workplaces.

“Our members will continue to campaign for the right of all workers to a basic level of income security and fair working conditions.

“The so called gig economy is not a show we want any part of.”

Find out more about the Change The Rules campaign at www.qieu.asn.au/changetherules