Monday, October 17, 2005

Propaganda, you scare me to death

I can`t see many reds underneath my bed
But the fascists in the letter-box are messing up my head

Some nice lyrics that seems to fit the crap we keep getting from the government.

Even the government reckons that people will be worse off under the proposed IR reforms. When pressed the government released an example of where people won't be worse off under an AWA. The problem is, the example shows the problem with the reforms quite clearly.
The Government says that penalty rates, overtime, public holidays, lunch breaks and holiday and shift loadings are "protected by law". When pressed, it admits they can be bargained away but says that's no different to the existing situation.

That's false. One of the two key features of Howard's proposal is the abolition of the "no disadvantage" test introduced by Labor in 1993 as part of its enterprise bargaining revolution.

The "no disadvantage" test means that while there are indeed many conditions such as penalty rates and overtime an employee can bargain away, the employer must by law compensate them in some other way so that the employee's remuneration package is at least equal in value to the previous package.

That requirement will go under Howard's proposals. A perfect example of how this works was inadvertently given by the Government itself. Labor had raised in parliament the case of a Queensland employer who did a deal with his employees removing leave loadings, all allowances, penalties and public holidays in exchange for a minuscule increase of 16c in their hourly pay rate.

The Government triumphantly pointed out that that 16c per hour had been raised to $1.31 an hour by the Employment Advocate. But the only basis on which the Employment Advocate could make this decision was on the basis of the "no disadvantage" test, which under the new system will no longer exist. So under Howard's new system, the 16c would stand.

Why isn't the opposition and the other minor parties making more noise about these changes? For all we know they could be making some noise I suppose, it all depends on whether the editorial viewpoint of the media outlets allows them to report the concerns to us all.


James said...

ummm if you're stupid enough to 'bargain' away your benefits than you deserve everything you get. Surely there's some caveat in the legislation that grounds for dismissal can't include the refusal to renegotiate an award / agreement.

I think that the use of the term Queenslander in the excerpt btw was just a synonym for "moron"

Craig said...

'Stupid enough'? As an unskilled worker you have no bargaining rights at well. What can you bring to the job that thousands wouldn't?

I know that we are quite lucky that we have skills that are valued by our employers, but we still need unskilled workers in this world. No graduate is ever gonna be a cleaner for a living.