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  Issue No 39 Official Organ of LaborNet 12 November 1999  




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Better Times for Casuals in the Sunshine State

Extracted from This Working Life - the ACTU's Work/Time/Life newsletter

The Queensland Council of Unions has mounted a case in the Queensland IRC to increase wages for casual workers by up to $2.00 extra per hour.

QCU Assistant General Secretary, Grace Grace said that the union movement was responding to the concerns raised by casual workers who lack job security.

"As more casual workers join unions, they tell us that their pay does not compensate them for missing out on permanent jobs," Grace said.

Currently, casual workers employed under Queensland State awards are entitled to 19% extra loading on their wages to compensate them for missing out on annual leave, public holidays and sick leave, but Grace argued that the sums just don't add up.

"Current casual rates do not compensate casual workers for missing out on annual leave loading, bereavement leave, notice on termination, career progression, regular earnings and job security," she said.

"Unions will put evidence before the QIRC that argues for a minimum 28.5% loading for all of our members in casual jobs. The 19% casual loading has not changed for over 25 years, but during that period, unions have won many improved conditions, which are currently being withheld from casual workers. The increase is well overdue."

Grace said that unions are concerned about an imbalance in casual versus permanent entitlements, now that the casual loading has slipped behind.

"We are concerned that employers may restrict permanent jobs because casual employment is artificially cheaper, rather than using genuine casual employees to meet peaks and troughs in business demand."

"Unions are also keen to attain and maintain tangible employment benefits for casual workers, over and above the hourly wage," she added.

"Unions believe that casual employees are entitled to long service leave, parental leave, carer's leave, redundancy pay and protection against unfair dismissal.

"Casual employment has grown to 27% of the workforce and Australia has the second highest proportion of temporary workers in OECD countries. Many of our members who are in casual jobs tell us they would rather have a permanent job. We will continue our fight to win job-security for them", said Ms. Grace.

The QIRC has yet to list the matter for hearing.

Additional information:

Union Contact: Grace Grace

Phone: (07) 3846 2468

Email: [email protected]


*    Visit the ACTU for more of This Working Life

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 39 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Let Sleeping Dogs
Republican campaigner Jason Yat-Sen Li dusts off after Saturday’s vote. We ask him: where to now?
*  Republic: Readers Speak - Kerry the Face to Deface
We asked and you have spoken; Sydney heiress Kerry Jones is the Workers Online choice for desktop doodling, as the official winner of our Defacement of a Nation competition.
*  Economics: Understanding the Economy
Who was voted thinker of the millenium in a recent BBC Online poll? Karl Marx shooed it in. And another socialist, Albert Einsten, came second.
*  Unions: Come Fly Away!
With just four weeks to go, Labor Council's Organiser of the year Award is up for grabs. We've only had the one entry ...
*  Work/Time/Life: Better Times for Casuals in the Sunshine State
The Queensland Council of Unions has mounted a case in the Queensland IRC to increase wages for casual workers by up to $2.00 extra per hour.
*  International: All Black Fate Looms for New Zealand Right
The New Zealand economic experiment – for many years the cherished role model of the Australian Liberal Party – is just about to face an angry jury.
*  History: Who Remembers Egon Erwin Kisch?
Egon Erwin Kisch was a well known progressive journalist living in Germany when he was invited by the Australian branch of the world committee against war and fascism to speak at a conference in Melbourne in 1934.
*  Review: Bizarrism - Strange Lives, Cults, Celebrated Lunacy
The strange story of Donald Crowhurst or how to cheat and become a God.
*  Satire: Support Surges for Armenian Republic Model
The assassination by gun crazed extremists of the Armenian Prime Minister has been cautiously backed by Ted Mack and the Direct Electionist lobby as a possible new Republican model.

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»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Fall of Communism as foreseen in 1931
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»  Republic Post Mortem
»  The Boston Strangler
»  SOS From New York
»  [email protected] - Wasn't it Satire?

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