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  Issue No 93 Official Organ of LaborNet 27 April 2001  




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Compo Talks Begin in Earnest Monday

Trade union representatives will next week begin discussions with the Carr Government in a bid to devise an acceptable package of workers comensation amendments.

Detailed talks on framing amendments to improve the package's protection for injured workers will commence through four working groups.

Labor Council secretary Michael Costa told delegates the government was on notice that real changes, that addressed the concerns about access to benefits for injured workers, must be accepted.

"If they try and stall or frustrate, we will go back to our original position that the legislation should be withdrawn," Costa said.

The working groups are:

- American Medical Association Guidelines

- Determinative Medical Assessment

- Psychological and Psychiatric Impairment

- Disputer Resoluton including Court and Common Law Thresholds

Another three working groups are being convened by WorkCover to look at:

- Return to Work

- Compliance

- Workplace Safety

Employers Stats Exposed as Bogus

Meanwhile, one of the country' s most reputable economists has rubbished claims by Australia Business Limited that a rise in premiums would cost the state 60,000 jobs.

Access Economics director Chris Richardson has predicted that an increase in premiums would have "Only a modest impact on jobs" - with a worst-case scenario of a ten-year average of 3,800 jobs.

Richardson says an increase in workers compensation premiums would have a similar impact on jobs to an increase in payroll tax.

"Economist have long noted the latter to be an efficient tax, despite its reputation as a 'tax on jobs' in the business world," he says.

Costa has called on ABL to produce the economic assumptions behind its 60,000 jobs claim or withdraw form the debate altogether.

He says if employers want to raise the premium issue, unions would welcome a public debate on the levels of employer contribution to the scheme.

"The reason the scheme is in deficient is that, for several years, employers have not been paying their way," Costa says.

See extract from Access Economics opinion in Features Section


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 93 contents

In this issue
*  Corporate: The Jobs Myth
Access Economics' Chris Richardson debunks employer claims that increased workers compensation premiums have a dramatic impact on jobs.
*  Interview: The Workers� Voice
When trade union stalwart Ian West took a seat in the NSW Upper House he was determined to be more than a bench-warmer. Then the Workers Comp legislation hit.
*  Unions: Postcard from the Pilbara
In the face of unprecedented pressure, BHP workers in the Pilbara are standing together and refusing to sign individual cotnracts.
*  Economics: Currency Unification: Dollarize or Die?
Dick Bryan asks what happens to an economy when it gives up its domestic currency.
*  History: Instant History
In his address to the Australian Labour History Conference, the SMH's Brad Norington asks whether there is still time for history.
*  International: The End of an Era?
The post-Cold War era is over. Something different is developing to take its place. John Passant writes.
*  Media: The Battle for Aunty
The CPSU's Graeme Thompson ouitlines the campaign to save the ABC and this week's emergency share-holders' meeting.
*  Review: Share-Holder Nation
A legacy of government-backed privatisations, demutualisations and stockmarket hype over the past decade is the creation of a nation of shareholders.
*  Satire: SOS: Save the Investment Banker!
Spare a thought for those less fortunate With redundancies at investment banks around the globe looming, now is the time for us to show the world just how much we care. It's just not right.

»  Budget Day Looms as Compo D-Day
»  Give It a Shake, Lads!
»  World Spotlight on Asbestos Usage
»  Compo Talks Begin in Earnest Monday
»  Action Rolls On as Della�s List Fills Up
»  Government Ignites Industrial Blaze
»  Robbo Elected Unopposed
»  Women Casuals Victimised by Abbott
»  Scientists Oppose Quantum Leap
»  Victimised Mineworkers Confront Rio Tinto Board
»  Queenslanders Call for End to Employer Theft
»  Inflation Destroys Howard�s Living Wage Ploy
»  Commitment to Schizophrenia Research
»  Activists Notebook: Workers of the World Unite
»  ANZAC Special : Hundred Not Out

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Labour Review
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Compo Shame
»  Where the Greens Stand

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