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

Congratulations to the QIEU! 100 Years Union Strong!

To commemorate the Queensland Independent Education Union’s 100th anniversary, the IEU Queensland and Northern Territory Branch has produced a Centenary Special Edition of their publication Independent Voice.

Congratulations to our comrades in Queensland on this wonderful achievement! 100 more years!

Download this special edition of Independent Voice here

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.

School Strike 4 Climate – 15 March 2019

The School Strike 4 Climate movement was inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg, a Swedish political activist seeking to stop global warming and climate change. In August 2018, she became a prominent figure for starting the first school strike for climate, outside the Swedish parliament building.

The Strike, on Friday 15 March, followed an earlier event in November 2018. The March Strike was supported by community groups, schools, universities and unions, including the IEU. Read our statement of support here.

With climate change as the single biggest global challenge, we will continue to support environmental measures and actions that reflect our union principles of collective action. 

Find out more about this movement which is going from strength to strength.