Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZEI, PPTA Presidents Join Rallies in Australia

Joint Media Release
November 29, 2006
For Immediate Use

NZEI and PPTA Presidents Join Worker Rallies in Australia

The presidents of New Zealand’s two largest education unions will join Australian workers tomorrow (Thursday November 30) in protesting against industrial laws being used to reduce pay and working conditions in Australia.

Tomorrow, NZEI Te Riu Roa national president, Irene Cooper and PPTA president, Debbie Te Whaiti, will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, known as ‘the People’s Ground,’ for a rally organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

The ‘Fill the G’ rally in Melbourne will be the largest of more than 300 rallies and marches being held across Australia. The day of protest is being held a year after more than half a million Australians took to the streets in opposition to industrial laws introduced by Prime Minister John Howard’s federal government.

“These laws are a major attack on workers in Australia, whose pay and working conditions are being seriously eroded,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Irene Cooper.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the real average earnings
for Australians have fallen since the laws were passed in December last year. Their average earnings fell by 1.2% in the 12 months from September 2005, to September 30 this year.

The ACTU says the drop in earnings, and the increase in living costs in this period, means working Australians have experienced a fall in the value of average weekly earnings of $13 a week.

“Working Australians are experiencing the same type of assault that New Zealand workers endured in the 1990s under the Employment Contracts Act, says PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti.

“The ECA was used to push down wages and working conditions, led to record unemployment, increased the gap between the rich and the poor and caused major damage to our economy,” says Debbie Te Whaiti.

The teachers and other educational professionals that NZEI and the PPTA represent, opposed the Employment Contracts Act and oppose this sort of legislation being imposed in any country.

“New Zealanders know that it’s bad for workers, bad for families and bad for the economy, because it causes damage that takes years to recover from,” says Irene Cooper.

“That’s why Irene and I are crossing the Tasman,” says Debbie Te Whaiti. “To stand alongside Australian workers and in particular fellow teachers and other educational professionals, to show we support them in their fight against the most serious attack they’ve ever faced from an Australian government.”

Key features of the industrial legislation passed by the Australian federal government led by Prime Minister John Howard.

- 3.7 million Australians employed at worksites with less than 100 employees are not covered by laws that protect them from unfair dismissal.

- Australians employed by businesses with more than 100 employees can be unfairly dismissed if their employer states that that their dismissal was made for “operational reasons”

- The laws enable all Australian employers to strip workers of their existing pay and working conditions and place them on an individual contract, known as an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) with lower pay and reduced conditions.

Figures compiled by the Australian federal agency that registers AWAs (individual contracts) show almost two thirds scrap penalty rates. A third cut overtime pay. Half scrap shift allowances A third do away with public holiday payments.

- The industrial laws also severely restricts access to worksites by union officials.

- If a worker is covered by an AWA, unions are not able to check that the agreement meets minimum requirements.

- Restrict workers from taking take industrial action when negotiations break down.

The Australian federal government is taking 107 Western Australian workers to court for taking part in industrial action supporting a sacked health and safety representative. It claims the strike was illegal. Under the new industrial relations laws for building workers, each timber worker faces a fine of up to $28,000.

- Stops the Industrial Relations Commission from setting minimum wage rates.

The ‘Fill the G’ rally at the Melbourne Cricket Ground takes place from 10am to midday tomorrow (Thurs November 30) New Zealand time.
It will be broadcast by satellite to each state capital in Australia and more than 300 regional centres across Australia.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits


In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders


Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>

ALSO:





 
 


Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>

ALSO:


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels