Statement from ACTU Secretary Sally McManus on John Setka

13th June 2019

“Today I met and had a long and frank discussion with John Setka. I told him it is in the best interests of the union movement that he resigns.

“I have consulted a wide range of union leaders and they share this view.

“There are several matters currently before the court. If media reports are correct the allegations John is facing are serious. I also note that yesterday John said he would plead guilty to charges of harassing a woman using a carriage service.

“I have previously said that if these allegation are correct they are totally unacceptable. There is no place for perpetuators of domestic violence in leadership positions in our movement.

“I want to make it clear that I cannot comment in detail on those matters, and this is regardless of what John said he intends to do regarding these allegations. This is because I am bound by the law in this matter. These matters are still before the court. It is important I explain this as I know many people do not understand how these laws work, and that’s fair enough, everyone can’t be expected to by a legal expert and to know the ins and outs of the law.

“We have laws that prevent people, in particular people in public positions, making comment on matters that are before a court. This is so that the court can go through its processes without outside interference. This is so all parties have the benefit of a fair process.  This is an important principle and there are laws in place that prevent people making comments that interfere with this right.

“We have already put on record the union movement’s values and our principles regarding family and domestic violence. Everyone has a right to a safe home, workplace and community and we have been campaigning for many years for this. We also believe in equality for women and know that instances of violence against women are not just unacceptable, they stand in the way of achieving equality.

“I have also put on record our support for and total admiration of Rosie Batty whom we have campaigned beside and whose goals we share.

“Having these values means we must demonstrate them.

“Union officials and union members are doing this in workplaces across our country, supporting or standing up for victims of domestic violence and are working to achieve our goals.

“Unions have been, and will continue to, fight for improved rights to protect and support people leaving abusive relationships to protect themselves and often to also protect their children. This means unions are negotiating and winning paid leave so people can make these choices. This means having the discussions with employers, many of whom are supportive, but inevitably some who are not, and convincing them it is in our shared interest to implement measures that go towards the goal of ending family violence.

“As part of our work achieving these goals, we also invest in the education of our members, employers and the wider community in preventing family and domestic violence.

“This involves education on what it is, and how it is harmful, and what we can all do to prevent it. There are many forms of domestic violence, from denigration and abuse to the shocking statistic that as of today 21 women this year have been murdered by a partner or family member.

“This statistic does not include those women who have been murdered just by going about their lives, this number currently stands in our country at 69 women.  All forms of violence against women are unacceptable and we will continue our campaigns to end it.

“Right now, representatives of the Australian union movement are fighting to improve the rights for woman and men, to be free from gendered violence at work not just in Australia, but across the world. We are in Geneva at the International Labour Organisation which brings together representatives from governments, employers and unions from every country. Australian union movement representatives are there arguing for a new global convention on violence and harassment at work, and fighting for better rights for all workers. This is also putting our values into practice.

“Working people expect their leaders to uphold union values and to be focused on advancing their interests. Our role is to do everything we can to improve the working lives of our members and aim to hand on better conditions to the next generation.

“Unions are democratic, member-run organisations and while John is elected by his members, he also needs to consider the interests of working people and the wider union movement.

“Where an individual’s actions cause damage to the whole movement, the interest of union members and the whole movement needs to be put first.

“The current Federal Government will use any opportunity to impose further, anti-democratic, anti-worker laws on all union officials and all unions, it is clear they will try and exploit this situation for their own ends. These laws will make it harder for ordinary working people to receive fair wages and conditions. We must oppose these laws.

“Now, in the interests of our movement, in the interests of working people, and in the interests of the values we share, I have asked John to do what is best for everyone and stand down.”

Facing an uncertain industrial landscape: what the election may mean for workers


The Change the Rules campaign included a comprehensive policy agenda, which aimed to return fairness for workers into our industrial relations system.

Workers are now facing an uncertain workplace landscape for the next three years following the reelection of the Coalition government. This is because while other major parties endorsed the Change the Rules campaign agenda ahead of the election, the Coalition made no similar commitment.

The lack of certainty from the Coalition government leaves a host of key issues languishing, including:

  • Mechanisms to support clear transition from insecure work to permanent employment – such as a conversion option after a certain number of rolling contracts;
  • Action on key collective bargaining legislation to rebalance power between employers and employees and support more effective bargaining;
  • Closing loopholes in legislation that make it too easy for employers to pursue the cancellation of existing collective agreements;
  • The restoration of penalty rates;
  • Action on stagnating wages;
  • Empowering the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to more easily settle bargaining disputes;
  • Addressing sham contracting, where workers are forced to obtain ABNs and set up their own business rather then receive a permanent job;
  • A right for long-term casual workers to convert to a permanent position if they choose to; and 
  • Key actions to address gender equality in our workplaces – including better laws to address sexual harassment, 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave and equal pay laws.

Unions will continue to campaign for positives changes that are essential to rebalance Australia’s workplaces.


Not good enough – A statement from IEU National about NAPLAN

Whatever the merits of an ‘online’ NAPLAN, the simple fact is that there is an extraordinary imposition on schools to deliver this new platform.

Schedules and re-rooming arrangements impact the entire school.

‘NAPLAN coordinators’, a thankless task assigned to some poor souls in schools, have been busy in recent days and early mornings this week to try to ensure that the technology at the school is operational and ready.

Rescheduling of classes to access limited devices for the online test means interruption to teaching and learning across the school.

So, when the system fails through no fault of the school, there are significant stress and work intensification issues that confront school staff across Australia.

The goodwill of school staff, teachers and education support staff, is fundamentally abused when the system fails to work.

The failings in the last two days, no matter how limited, but certainly much broader than reported, cannot and should not be tolerated.

There seems to be little appreciation for the scale of additional work and internal re-organisation that is required in schools to deliver NAPLAN.

The IEUA Federal Executive meeting next week (Thursday 23 May) will consider a resolution that will demand a consistent and appropriate level of support and resourcing from employers and ACARA, or in the alternate a recommendation for schools to withdraw support for future NAPLAN testing.

Invitation to The Independent Education Union of Western Australia, Union of Employees Annual General Meeting and the IEUA WA Branch General Meeting

When: Wednesday 12 June 2019
Where: Ivan Sands Boardroom
, IEUA WA Branch,
Suite 17, 63 Knutsford Avenue, Rivervale
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm

The following reports will be presented:

President’s Annual Report
General Secretary’s Annual Report

Independent Education Union of Western Australia, Union of Employees
Annual Financial Report 2018

Independent Education Union of Australia, WA Branch
Annual Financial Report 2018

The meeting will include acknowledgement of and presentations to our long-term union members of 25 years plus.

Light refreshments will be provided from 4pm.

Please register your attendance by Wednesday 5 June through this link: 

Members have been contacted by email, text or letter with the password to access the financial reports. If you have not been contacted and would like to view the reports, please contact

In Unity

Angela Briant
General Secretary
Independent Education Union of Australia WA Branch

IEUA MEMBERS Workers Compensation Representation

The IEUA have partnered with Union owned Law firm United Voice Legal (UVL) to provide expert legal advice and representation for our members who have been injured at work.

UVL are owned and operated by United Voice WA, one of the largest unions in Western Australia, they provide legal services consistent with union values of fairness and equity ensuring IEUA members will get the best outcomes available. 

The union difference

UVL pride themselves on providing the “union difference”, UVL will fight for IEUA members to achieve the best possible outcome.

UVL operates on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis in most circumstances (conditions apply). UVL lawyers provide Workers Compensation legal advice to ensure members fully understand the legal ramifications surrounding your claim and your entitlements.


If you are injured at work:

  1. Report it;
  2. Complete an incident form;
  3. See your Doctor and obtain a first medical certificate;
  4. Complete a Workers Compensation claim form and forward the form with your Dr’s certificate to the Principal/HR Manager etc;
  5. Keep copies of ALL documentation you provide to your employer;
  6. If any IEUA member has concerns or questions about Workers Compensation call YOUR Union office.

The IEUA Office will refer members to UVL if the Workers Compensation claim is disputed or the insurers denies liability.

Injured at work and unsure of what to do call your union
PH: 9373 1000