||Issue No. 321||25 August 2006|
Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Unions: Fighting Back
Industrial: What Cowra Means
Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Politics: Page Turner
Economics: The State of Labour
International: Workers Blood For Oil
History: Liberty in Spain
Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
The Locker Room
Market-friendly AWAs have started to roll out across the 1500-strong Medibank workforce, located in over 100 locations across the country.
The individual contracts average the 38 hour week over 12 months, remove limits on the days or times an employee can be directed to work and cut overtime payments for late night or weekend work.
The targeting of working conditions is made easier by increased powers employers have under WorkChoices, according to CPSU National Secretary Stephen Jones.
"With women forming the majority of our members, often working in branches with small staff numbers, balancing work and family life is a top concern and a constant juggling act.
"These AWAs make it easier for staff to be directed to work whenever management wish, while removing incentives like overtime that will strike a real blow on already stretched family budgets," he said.
With the Government making no secret of its plans to sell off the national health insurer, maximising the share price before any sale by driving down labour costs is proving a powerful incentive to management.
"It's a classic case of workers being hit with a double-whammy - much tougher bargaining laws due to WorkChoices and the proposed sale of Medibank," Jones said.
"Not only will any sale of Medibank have a negative impact on workers, we believe the sale will be bad news for the community, Medibank members, premiums and the health system in general.
"Not one of Medibank's three million members has even been consulted about the plans to privatise.".
In response, the CPSU has kicked off a national campaign that raises questions over the Government's plans to sell the latest piece of the family silver.
Since releasing a survey this week about the planned sale, Jones said the union had received hundreds of responses.
Find out more on the campaign to save Medibank by visiting http://www.savemedibank.net.au
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