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Possible new employment law removes workers' right to choose

26 April 2013

Possible new employment law removes workers' right to choose

The government’s proposed new Employment Relations Amendment bill will not only be bad for workers but, in the case of tertiary education, it will be bad for students, says TEU president Lesley Francey.

“This bill, and particularly its provision to remove an employer’s duty to conclude bargaining, aims to drive people out of unions and into lower paying jobs with lesser working conditions. For workers this will make it harder to take home the pay they need to support their families and to spend time with their families and communities.”

“For students in tertiary education they are going to meet staff who have higher workloads, worse pay and precarious casual employment agreements - none of which is good for those who should be expecting quality learning conditions.”

Ms Francey says students trying to work and pay their way through their studies are often themselves in the precarious jobs that will be first hit and worst hit by this low-wage legislation.

“This bill has nothing for workers in it, nothing for the economy, and nothing for communities.”

“For TEU members working in tertiary education institutions these changes will remove our right to choose. These changes could result in thousands of workers going from collective agreements to individual agreements against their will because their employer has decided that negotiations are finished and the collective agreement has expired. TEU members choose to belong to a union and belong to a collective agreement. These law changes will take away that right,” said Ms Francey.


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