Change the Rules for better working conditions

Members attending IEU chapter meetings all over NSW and the ACT have been throwing their weight behind the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign.

The campaign aims to improve the rules that govern industrial relations and make life fairer for working Australians.

Speaking at the IEU’s AGM in October last year, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus described the rules as “really, truly broken” and said red tape was stifling workers’ rights to fair bargaining.

“The Liberal Government loves deregulation except when it comes to our rights. There’s so much red tape and legislation around enterprise bargaining it’s not funny.

“Let’s start by freeing up those rights and taking away the red tape and legislation and making things fairer.”

There was record low wage growth yet profits in the private sector were up, she said.

“We need to make sure everyone pays their fair share of tax and make sure working people and their unions have better and stronger rights and make sure there’s fairness in society.

“We need everyone to be part of the Change the Rules campaign to fight for our basic rights and bring fairness back.”

As part of its campaign the ACTU carried out its largest ever survey, of nearly 60,000 workers including cleaners, teachers to miners and construction workers (SMH 2 March 2018).

The survey of 57,959 people – 90% of them union members was conducted from September 2017 to February 2018, primarily online.

McManus said the results could be boiled down to two main themes: Australians want more secure jobs and fair pay rises.

“They want pay rises that not only keep up with the cost of living but pay rises that are a fair share of productivity gains and profits,” she said.

The ACTU will be making its claim in coming weeks. It called for a $45 a week rise last year, triple the previous claim. The Fair Work Commission subsequently awarded a $22.20 a week increase.