||Issue No. 148||16 August 2002|
Interview: Labor Law
Unions: Critical Conditions
Bad Boss: Shifting The Load
History: Peeking Out
Safety: Flying High
Corporate: Salaries High, Performance Low
International: War on the US Wharves
Review: And the Signs Said...
Poetry: Tony Don't Preach
Satire: Latham Dumps Rodney Rude as Speech Writer
The Locker Room
Another Capitalist Party?
Justice For All?
Kill the Photos!
Right Wing Lackies
Victorian System Needs Reform: AIRC
In an unprecedented move, the AIRC this week called on the Federal and State Parliaments to correct the discrimination of the Howard Governments industrial laws as they applied to Victorian workers.
In its decision on the 2002 Victorian State Wages Case the Full Bench of the AIRC acknowledged that Victorian workers without a federal award were disadvantaged when compared to Federal Award workers in the State and all other workers in Australia.
The AIRC also found that its hands are tied in seeking to adequately correct this disadvantage by the current Federal industrial relations laws and encouraged the bringing forward of legislation to address this disadvantage.
The Bracks Government has recently announced that it will bring forward legislation in the spring session of Parliament to allow comprehensive federal award conditions and allowances to apply to all non-federal award workers in Victoria.
Liberals Must Help
Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Leigh Hubbard called on the Liberal Party at both federal and state levels to also acknowledge this discrimination and agree to implement the sensible proposals of the Bracks Government.
Victorian workers without the refuge of a federal award are regulated under Schedule 1A and Part XV of the Commonwealth Workplace Relations Act 1995 and are guaranteed only a minimum rate of pay and four other minimal conditions: four weeks annual leave, five days sick leave, unpaid parental leave, notice upon termination.
Latest figures show that 1.1 million Victorians are subject to at least the twenty allowable matters of federal awards, while approximately 560,000 Victorians are entitled to the inferior conditions of Schedule 1A. Around 230,000 of them receive only the minimum hourly rate of pay and the four other conditions.
'Most Schedule 1A workers do not have access to overtime rates, public holiday penalties, shift allowances, paid parental leave, carers leave, jury service leave, bereavement leave or many of the other conditions of employment all other workers in Australia take as a given," Hubbard says.
The AIRC decision today granted the flow-on of the recent $18 per week Living Wage Case increase in federal awards to Victorian workers with an operative date of 9 August 2002, one week earlier than the operative date last year.
For a number of technical reasons the AIRC rejected a VTHC claim for $25 per week (compared to the $18) to partially compensate for the disadvantage suffered by these Victorian workers.
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