||Issue No. 217||23 April 2004|
Interview: Terror Australis
Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Industrial: The Hell of Troy
Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
History: Vicious Old Lady
International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Review: War Unfogged
The Locker Room
Bosses Unite Against Holidays
Unions NSW official, Chris Christodoulou, said the number of witnesses notified by employers meant there was "no way" the ground-breaking Secure Employment Test Case would be heard this year.
"It looks like a giant filibuster," Christodoulou said. "Unfortunately, many of the statements are being provided by state government departments.
"That is disappointing because the growth of casualisation is creating a two-tiered society. Only recently a Senate Inquiry Report found casual employees disproportionately represented amongst Australians living in poverty."
Many NSW departments have indicated their intention to put on statements opposing the Test Case in apparent contradiction of Minister of State, John Della Bosca, who called casualisation a "concern" and said the IRC should bring down guidelines.
Public Service Association (PSA) assistant secretary, Steve Turner, said the public service had hired three different barristers to run three different angles before the IRC. He called that a "waste of public funds".
Turner said if state government had taken a "sensible approach" to the issue, most public sector issues could already have been settled.
"Legislative provision for the public service is that, wherever possible, employment should be permanent, ongoing work," he said.
Unions are putting the finishing touches to their case against the background of new research, released by the Whitlam Institute this week, that reveals ...
- there are 2.2 million Australians employed on casual terms that deny access to basic entitlements
- 60 percent of them - more than 1.3 million people - are deemed casual although they have worked with their current employer for more than a year
- nearly half a million have been with the same employer for more than five years
- declining skills development, associated with casualisation, is a risk to productivity and the economy
The Test Case will argue specific awards should contain a clause, or clauses, that ...
- entitle regular casuals to opt for permanent employment after six months service with the same employer
- entitle labour hire employees to employment with the host employer after six months doing the same job for the same employer
commit employers to full consultation with employees and relevant unions prior to contracting out, and to guarantee existing jobs, wages and conditions.
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