Breaking News: Federal Court finding on AWU raids

The Federal Court has held that the investigation commenced by the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) into Australian Manufacturing Union (AWU) donations from over a decade ago was improper and should not have commenced.

These donations were never a secret. They were declared to the Australian Electoral Commission as required.

From the beginning, the AWU has said the AFP raids were unnecessary and were an egregious abuse of state power for political purposes. This has been an exhausting, resource-draining, and distracting process for the union and the broader union movement, but the Court’s ruling is very satisfying. 

It is important part of democracy that the actions of public agencies can and should be scrutinised and held to account. The AWU offices in Sydney and Melbourne should never have been raided by over 30 police in search of a few pieces of paper.

Read the full ACTU media release here

Read the breaking story in The Guardian here

IEUA Statement – Religious Discrimination Bill 2019

5th September 2019

The Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) expresses its serious concerns with the federal government’s draft Religious Discrimination Bill.

The IEUA is disappointed at the continuing
practice of governments to polarize, disenfranchise and make a ‘whipping post’ of
the rights of our members who work in faith-based education.

Yet again proposed legislation completely
exempts religious schools from allowing their employees the same rights that
all other Australians enjoy. Here it is not the freedom to love and marry who
they wish but the freedom of religion and belief itself.

Religious schools don’t need this Bill.

The IEUA believes that the vast majority of
employers in faith- based schools have no difficulty in employing staff of
other faiths and in fact are not threatened by their staff or students
expressing diverse views.

The IEUA has and will continue to lobby
governments and politicians to remove the unreasonable and harmful exemptions
from discrimination law enjoyed by employers in our industry.

As the IEUA has made abundantly clear in
our recent submissions and appearances before Senate inquiries, we believe that
these exemptions are not required by employers. 
Current contractual law obligations and legislation more than adequately
provide for employers to manage their workforces consistent with their beliefs.

The IEUA will call upon the Parliament of
Australia to reject this current Bill as it not only fails to improve the
current undermining of rights of our members but is an untidy and problematic
drafting of legislation that will cause further confusion.

The IEUA will continue to carefully examine
the Bill, seek expert advice and engage with stakeholders to ensure that IEUA
members’ interests are paramount.

Chris Watt

Federal Secretary

Indigenous Literacy Day 2019

Wednesday 4th September was Indigenous Literacy Day, a national celebration of Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy organised by the Indigenious Literacy Foundation.

Though the day has passed, you can still support the

For more information, visit the Indigenous Literacy Foundation website.

Summary of positive outcomes from the WA State Labor Conference

The overriding outcomes from the WA Labor State Conference were incredibly positive. Decisions made and policies announced by the WA State government will make significant differences to working people in our State.

May Holman honoured

The McGowan government will be renaming 189 Royal Street, East Perth, the May Holman Building in honour of this trailblazing politician.

May Holman was the first woman from the Labor Party to be elected to an Australian Parliament, and is widely credited with introducing some of the first pieces of worker health and safety legislation anywhere in the world.

She won the State seat of Forrest, centred on Dwellingup, five times and served 14 years in State Parliament.

May’s life was tragically cut short as a result of a car crash the day before the 1939 State election. She survived only until the following Monday, May was informed that she had been re-elected – two hours later she passed away.

May Holman was deeply committed to improving society – she advocated for workers and their families alike. In 1926 she introduced the Timber Industry Act, which legislated to improve the living and working conditions of men employed at timber mills across Western Australia.

A former government-owned building that bore May’s name was renamed Golden Square in 2015 when purchased by a private company.

$12.9 million investment in workplace health and safety

Industrial Manslaughter Laws: In recent times, there have been disturbing reports about workplace deaths and the relatively light fines imposed on companies as a result of these accidents.To strengthen Western Australia’s workplace safety laws, the McGowan Government will introduce a new Work Health and Safety Bill that will modernise workplace safety laws, better protect workers and hold accountable those responsible for any workplace deaths.

One of the main features of the legislation is the introduction of two new offences of industrial manslaughter:

  • Industrial manslaughter class one: the most serious offence, this includes a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for an individual conducting or undertaking a business.
  • Industrial manslaughter class two: this includes a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for negligent behaviour.

The new offences will also carry a fine of up to $10 million for a body corporate.

Worksafe: An additional 24 full time equivalent staff, including 21 additional inspectors, will be employed by WorkSafe. This will bring the total number of inspectors to 120 and provide much improved capacity for safety inspections, the enforcement of workplace safety standards and more education and awareness.

These inspectors will investigate fatal and serious incidents,. There will also be inspectors with expertise in industrial and regional cases and service industries.

There will be new worker safety campaign called Better Worker Safety to put safety at front of mind and improve workplace safety and health outcomes in Western Australia.

Return of privatised services to public hands benefits customers and saves taxpayers money

The McGowan Labor Government will bring operations and maintenance of the Water Corporation’s water, wastewater and drainage networks in the Perth and Mandurah region back in-house. This is 25 years after services were privatised by the then Liberal Government.

A recent review by the Water  Corporation Board determined that in-sourcing would be the best model for the future. This is consistent with the way the services are delivered by the Water Corporation in all other parts of the State.

The new approach is expected to deliver estimated savings for taxpayers of $2-3 million per year, provide 250 workers with more secure employment and deliver a more streamlined customer interaction.

IEU Speaks: No Progress on Gender Pay Gap

Wednesday 28 August 2019 is Gender Pay Day.

This date illustrates the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work in order to earn the same amount as men earn in twelve months.

Gender Pay Day is an important reminder of the continuing barriers women face in accessing the same opportunities and benefits as men in Australian workplaces.

WA is the “winner” of this dubious honour – again
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