Interview: Court's in Session
Industrial: Whose Choices?
Politics: Peter's Principles
Environment: TINA or Greener?
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
Education: No AWA - No Job
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
Review: Charlie the Serf
The Locker Room
Belated Merry Whatmas?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
I Think Therefore I Scam
A Taxing Answer
Leslie John Turner
No AWA - No Job
The 'No AWA - No Job' deal exposes the Howard Government's claim that working conditions are protected under its Workplace Relations reforms as little more than PR spin.
Under the Howard Government's Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) universities must offer staff an Australian Workplace Agreement.
Federal Labor opposed the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) in Parliament, warning that they will lead to workers being left with no choice but to sign an AWA which cuts their working conditions.
Anyone who wants a job at Ballarat University will see first hand that Labor's concerns were well founded. New staff are not given a choice to sign an AWA, they either sign up or they can't have the job.
Despite spending $55 million of taxpayers money on spin and party political advertising, the AWA-only jobs at Ballarat University show the Howard Government's 'WorkChoices' are no choice at all.
This is the reality which thousands more Australian employees will face in coming years.
The Howard Government's extreme industrial relations agenda is all about robbing Australian employees of their choices, stripping them of their hard-won entitlements and could leave them with the option of signing a collective agreement without the representation of a union.
This is John Howard's most overt attack on working people yet. And yet another attempt by the Howard Government to limit union representation in the workplace.
Ballarat University staff have been exposed to the Howard Government's real IR agenda through the new Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) which;
* remove restrictions on casualisation,
* remove restrictions on use of fixed term contracts, with significant impact on protection of entitlements such as long service leave and severance benefits,
* remove protections on the size of the workforce and replacement of staff, which impacts on security of employment and,
* remove procedures for performance management and dispute resolution, which protect both employers and employees.
The Howard Government has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding if the universities do not comply with its extreme industrial relations agenda. It has assigned inspectors from the Department of Education, Science and Training to go over any agreements in place at Australian universities to make sure they comply with the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs). Non compliance means a loss of funding.
DEST officials in Canberra have already been telling universities what can and cannot be included in their workplace agreements. The Howard Government has been re-writing agreements to remove protection of entitlements for staff and cut out their unions.
Federal Labor exposed the Howard Government's agenda in November 2005 when it released leaked sections of the draft Workplace Agreements for Deakin and Central Queensland Universities. The comments by DEST inspectors instruct the universities to delete paragraphs guaranteeing workers would not be forced to sign AWAs from the agreements.
This legislation has nothing to do with education, it is an open attack on the hard-won working conditions of university staff and the union officials that represent them.
Australian workers are about to find out about 'No AWA - No Job', unfortunately for Ballarat University staff, they already know all about it.
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