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Work Changes

Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 4, 2005 - 9:54am.
Andrews v Beazley: first strikes in Parliamentary IR debate

Andrews: That is what Work Choices is all about – securing the future prosperity of Australian individuals and families. ... Work Choices does this by accommodating the greater demand for choice and flexibility in our workplaces. It continues a process of evolution, begun over a decade ago, towards a system that trusts Australian men and women to make their own decisions in the workplace and to do so in a way that best suits them.

Beazley: It is the product of an extreme, outdated ideology. An ideology that has nothing to do with the challenges Australia faces in the first quarter of the 21st century - nothing to do with the nation's economic needs. ... It's the most savage attack on the values of Australian society and the security of working families that I've seen in 25 years in this Parliament.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 3, 2005 - 2:21am.
688 pages of IR legislation out now, but be quick or they'll be law before you know it

G'day. Here we go folks. This morning the government released most of its mega Industrial Relations package of legislation. Actually, it didn't do it until AFTER the minister Kevin Andrews introduced the bills into the House of Representatives flanked by a smug PM. That led to a shit-fight for an hour on the floor of the House, because House rules require that MPs each get a copy of a proposed law before the debate starts. Fair enough, eh? The government didn't bother with that. The People's House is a sham, after all.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 20, 2005 - 4:52am.
Money over humanity: a christian response to the IR changes

"It is now  a well established aspect of Australian history that Catholic Social Teaching, particularly Pope Leo XIII's  teaching on the just wage in Rerum Novarum, was a significant  influence on Australian policy makers a century ago when an Industrial Relations system and mechanism was set up to balance the interests of workers and businesses. ... The Howard Government is currently proposing sweeping changes to the Australian industrial relations landscape. For the first time the Government has the numbers in the Senate to bring in such changes without the support of minor party and independent senators who held the balance of power in the Senate for over two decades. These changes have the capacity to fundamentally alter the fabric of Australian workplaces and society at large. This briefing paper aims to outline the basic changes being put forward and in light of Catholic Social Teaching offer critical comment on the changes and their likely effects." Social Action Office, Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, Queensland.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 11, 2005 - 4:20am.
WorkChoices - a new workplace relations system

"In May of this year I announced in Parliament the framework of the Government’s proposals to reform Australia’s workplace relations system. Today the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and I are delighted to release ‘WorkChoices – A New Workplace Relations System’ which explains, in detail, how the new workplace relations system will work." Prime Minister, John Howard

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 4, 2005 - 12:50am.
Our Prime Minister's next exciting adventure

"If it is possible to induce an additional 80,000 people to enter the work-force through modifications of the personal income tax situation, then perhaps the haphazard and individually punitive approach of changing pensioners over to Newstart Allowance, while at the same time introducing all sorts of one-off exemptions, was a really silly way to go about the Prime Minister's ambitious adventure." Marie Coleman

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on September 28, 2005 - 3:11am.
Is the Coalition's IR advertising blitz legal?

Is the Government acting lawfully in advertising its IR policy with taxpayer's money or is it breaching Australia's Constitution? We'll find out on Thursday.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on September 22, 2005 - 3:10am.
Rural communities at risk under Welfare to Work policies

"The Government may well decide that if there are no local jobs (which can mean under Newstart Allowance up to a ninety minute journey away) then individuals and families ought to be forced to move to a district with more jobs available. That means social dislocation for the family, loss of the social supports which make living feasible, and much higher housing costs, while for the community they leave, it means a drop in the incomes of local businesses, and maybe the loss of a teacher from the school." Marie Coleman

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on September 20, 2005 - 11:02pm.
Julia Perry details the Government's Welfare to Work plan

"In legislation about to be introduced, the Government will cut the rate of income support for parents with children aged six and over and for people with disabilities who are assessed as being able to work at least 15 hours a week. From July 2006, Parenting Payment (for sole parents and one parent in a very low income couple) will be abolished for families with children aged six or over. Disability Support Pension will be restricted to those who cannot work 15 hours a week or more. Those who are no longer able to claim these payments will have to apply for Newstart (unemployment benefit) and be required to look for jobs of at least 15 hours a week." Julia Perry

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on September 20, 2005 - 3:47am.
Marie Coleman on getting traction in the Welfare to Work debate

"The Office for Women advised the women's organisations secretariats that they were not permitted to use their grants for such a purpose, and demanded that the pledges not be honoured, on pain of deductions from their 2005-6 funding. The women's secretariats, faced with this opposition from the Government to their attempt to gauge the effects of policy on Australian women, guaranteed NFAW (the National Foundation for Australian Women) that they would honour their pledges through contributions from affiliated organisations. Given the urgency and the importance of the matter, NFAW took the risk, and went ahead with the contract." Marie Coleman

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on August 15, 2005 - 6:05am.
Your IR War (how we get and keep our jobs) primer

Many Webdiarists want to know the detail of what the nation is arguing about over John Howard's IR revolution. He hasn't given us detail yet, but the Parliamentary Library has pulled together the background, what's on the table so far, and who is playing how. Let's add the twists and turns through comments.

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Submitted by John Miner on July 3, 2005 - 3:41am.
IR power to the feds: the Australian people always say no

"When you amend the Constitution you amend it permanently. What one Parliament can do under the power another Parliament can undo. Just as the conservatives of 1946 saw a Communist plot behind the proposal, so the ALP sees a conservative government wishing to smash trade unions and workers’ conditions and rights. And they are both right." John Miner on how Australians have always said no to demands by Labor and non-Labor federal governments to seize control of industrial relations law from the States

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