||Issue No. 250||21 December 2004|
Beyond The Law
Interview: The King of Comedy
Unions: Ten Simple Rules
Politics: Rampant Indivdualism
International: Global Struggle
Economics: Cashing in the Year
History: Grass Roots
Review: Cultural Realities
The Locker Room
The Price Of Tea In China
Cry For Me, Argentina
Ho Bloody Ho
Right Is Wrong
Business As Usual
All In The Family
Swing Left Wishful Thinking
AWAs Crash on Broken Hill
Wayne Nicholas threatened 30 Silverlea Community Care employees with the sack if they didn’t agree to become the state’s lowest paid disability workers.
The AWA's would have reduced conditions and removed penalty and weekend rates, taking the workers below the award safety net.
But when the ASU got Nicholas to the Federal Court he had spat the dummy and handed the centre back to the State Government for re-tender.
The Court ruled Nicholas, who had refused to even meet with workers, could not sack staff or reduce wages.
ASU organiser, Col Lynch, says Nicolas still owes staff $60,000 in back pay, because he refused to increase earnings in line with the last two state wage case decisions.
Lynch says workers have also been denied superannuation payments since April. He says client fees had also been increased at the centre to 85 percent of their disability pensions, the highest he had heard of.
The ASU is still prosecuting Nicholas in both the NSW IRC and the Federal Court.
Nicholls also runs disability centres in Bourke, the Riverina and Townsville.
Lynch says the union will be making sure the new provider increases services in line with the expectations of clients and their families.
"This is the first time Nicholas has tried to take the union head on in a small community service," says Lynch.
"All the workers joined the union and refused to sign AWAs, despite the threat of the sack five days before Christmas.
"It does show AWA's can be resisted if workers stick together."
Brett Campbell from the Barrier Industrial Council said the solidarity between disability carers, clients and families, the ASU and the local community allowed Broken Hill to keep the Workplace Relations Act out.
"This is why Broken Hill remains a great place," said Campbell.
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