||Issue No. 228||09 July 2004|
Thai-ed in Knots
Interview: Power and the Passion
Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Housing: Home Truths
International: Boycott Busters
Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Review: Chewing the Fat
Poetry: Dear John
The Locker Room
Libs have Got To Go
A Boring Bastard
A Home Of Their Own
MCG Vet Kicks Casual Goal
Magistrate Michael Smith has ruled 70-year-old Frank Clohesy is entitled to long service leave, opening the way for 50 other attendants with over 15 years service, to cash-in on the entitlement.
The Melbourne Magistrate's Court rejected the argument put forward by the Melbourne Cricket Club, operators of the MCG, that Clohesy had no entitlement because his employment had been a series of "one-off appointments".
Smith ruled Clohesy had given more than 15 years service and was therefore "entitled to long service leave ... in accordance with relevant provisions of the Act."
MEAA organiser, Louise O'Connor, said the victory was vindication of attendants' decisions to join a collective. It wouldn't, she said, have been practical for individuals to have challenged the MCG stance, even though they were in the right.
O'Connor estimated the average attendant stood to gain about $1500 through the victory but that taking the case would cost between $5000 and $10,000.
She said the MEAA had been arguing the case with the MCG since Victorian racing clubs agreed to recognise casual entitlements. Fifty long-serving attendants wrote to cricket club, last year, asking for long service but had been knocked back.
O'Connor confirmed the union would now seek a meeting with the employer to discuss implications of the decision on the cases of its other 49 members.
The MEAA is calling on the Victorian Government to change the state's Long Service Act to make it clear that casuals qualify, and to lift entitlements to levels provided by other states.
Caring and Sharing
Meanwhile, unions have finalised an agreement with employers that will deliver carers' leave to more than two million Australians classified as casual workers.
The deal came as the parties agreed to double paid leave for permanent employees to care for family members who were ill or facing emergency situations. That entitlement has gone from five to 10 days a year.
ACTU president, Sharan Burrow, said that while casuals still might not get paid for looking after family members they could "feel comfortable" about not having to risk their jobs.
Under the agreement ...
- casual workers have the right to take up to two days off work to care for family members in the wake of births, deaths, illnesses or unexpected emergencies.
- there is no limit on the number of two-day absences a casual make take during a year, but they will be unpaid.
- They will be required to provide "reasonable" notice of required time off and "reasonable evidence" of family emergencies, such as medical certificates, letters from teachers or carers, or stat decs.
There are more than 2.2 million casual workers in Australia covered by this agreement, including 400,000 mothers with young children.
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