'We are a voice for quality education and care that is only going to grow louder now that government has turned its back on professional standards.'
That was the message that rang loud and clear from the weekend’s Big Steps forum (pictured) in Melbourne which also saw the release of the interim findings of the Big Steps Quality Matters survey.
Workers at Abbottsford Brewery are insisting on work trials to prove the safety of planned new work practices that if introduced, will result in 19 redundancies.
A meeting of workers today condemned Carlton and United Breweries for trying to rush through changes to the handling and movement of beer products at the site. They voted not to accept any redundancies until a proper trial proves the new logistics systems are safe and achievable.
YEARS before he started work making paint at what was then a Dulux plant in Clayton, Dennis Kimball knew it was a good place to work. That was the word around the traps: the conditions were good and they looked after you.
A lot has changed since. The plant is owned by a foreign multi-national – the Pittsburgh Paint Group – and the Global Financial Crisis created a harder focus on costs, and the pressure stepped up even more when the soaring Australian dollar undermined international competitiveness.
Australians worry about the demise of manufacturing and Dennis understands why. Manufacturing supplies good jobs, like his. But just as there are fewer of those jobs, the workers whose skills make them good jobs must struggle to maintain their conditions.
Victorian ambulance paramedics have voted overwhelmingly to seek the right to take strike action in a bid to bring their 20-month wages dispute to an end.
More than 98 per cent of votes cast in last week’s registered ballot of paramedics were in favour of intensifying industrial action.
By JESS WALSH
Imagine an Australia with no compensation for working public holidays, weekends, or nights, or overtime. Imagine an Australia that allows the award safety net of pay and conditions to be undercut. That's where the federal government is taking us.Read more
My name is Vanessa Harmer and I am a paramedic. And I’m really concerned about the new laws being introduced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that will allow our penalty rates to be stripped and traded away.
Paramedics as much as anyone know the risks the Napthine Government’s proposed restrictions to the right of political protest pose for Victorians, United Voice member Morgyn McCarthy told a rally of thousands of protestors outside Parliament House today.
“We don’t have that many options for industrial action but one of the things we do have is the right to peaceful protest and rally,” Morgyn told the protest.
By JESS WALSH (pictured below addressing a rally of cleaners)
After 22 years of continuous economic growth and having dodged the bullet of the global financial crisis Australia needs next to do what exactly? Abolish penalty rates, according to Tony Abbott’s business supporters.
He has not been quite as blunt as that. Instead, the Prime Minister has used weasel words about supporting applications by business to abolish penalties, but the effect is the same. The government is lending its weight to pressure to undermine the pay and conditions of the poorest paid, most disadvantaged workers in the country.
Victoria’s ambulance service would likely collapse if penalty rates were abolished since no-one with a family could afford to do the job for its base rate of $56,000 a year.
That’s the opinion of eight-year paramedic Brett Adie who says the job’s unsociable hours make it extremely difficult for partners of paramedics to hold a regular job once they have children. Without penalties enabling members to support their families there would be an exodus of paramedics from the service, he says.