||Issue No. 144||12 July 2002|
The Lotto Economy
Interview: Capital in Crisis
Industrial: No Sweat
Bad Boss: Super Spam
History: Living Treasures
International: Axis of Evil
Solidarity: Pride of Place
Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Casual Work Exploits – Catholic Church Agency
In a Pastoral Letter the chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop William Morris, highlights the increasingly insecure and precarious nature of employment for casuals, most of whom would prefer permanent employment on a full-time or part-time basis.
Bishop Morris points to the steady growth of casual employment to about 27 percent of the labour force.
"It is a matter of grave concern that between 1984 and 1997 over 60 percent of new jobs created were casual jobs," he writes in his Pastoral Letter.
An important development states Bishop Morris, is the increasing number of employees engaged as casuals for extended periods.
"Sometimes, these workers are mistakenly referred to as 'long-term' casuals when in fact they are more properly viewed as full-time or part-time employees," he writes.
"They are engaged as 'casual employees' but in fact work on a regular and systematic basis, sometimes under the same pattern for years.
"Such employees often have the same workplace continuity as their permanent counterparts, yet are engaged without the same entitlements, such as sick leave, holiday leave and parental leave."
The Pastoral Letter stresses Church teaching that work is the key to building a just society.
"As far as working conditions are concerned, arrangements should provide as extensive protection as is possible for the dignity, safety and health of workers, rather than being geared only towards the realisation of profits.
" Australia cannot be described as a fair society if a growing number of workers are engaged on an uncertain, irregular and insecure basis without access to the basic rights of more permanent workers.
"There is a place for casual employment, but not as a substitute for ongoing employment.
"Workers need to be able to make a free choice between casual and permanent employment conditions."
Church as an Employer
The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations has just produced a useful resource to assist Church employers and managers to conduct employment relationships in a way that reflects the Church's own teachings in this area.
Copies of The Catholic Church as an Employer Today are available from the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations at: [email protected]
Excerpted from Justice Trends the newsletter of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
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