ACTU has been pushing a campaign to ‘Change the Rules’ for workers.
Its aim is to fundamentally rewrite many elements of the Fair Work Act so that it creates a more level playing field between employers, on one side, and workers and their unions on the other.
On 21 March, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus released the union movement’s blueprint for achieving this, as we head towards a federal election in the next 12 months.
The highlights of the ACTU’s plans include a push to limit forms of insecure work, loosening up industrial action laws (Australia’s laws are among the world’s most stringent), strengthening collective bargaining, limiting temporary working visas, encouraging Commonwealth procurement policies to focus on local providers, better flexibility and most importantly, bigger wage rises.
For its part, the Labor Party has also been making some encouraging noises about rearming the industrial relations system, including penalty rates, domestic violence leave, stronger arbitration provisions and more support for minimum and award wage rises.
The ACTU’s final policy will be endorsed at their annual conference in Brisbane in July, while the ALP’s industrial relations policies should become clearer after the federal conference in Adelaide later that same month. The next federal election could be held any time from early August this year to mid May 2019.
For more information about the ACTU campaign, click here: https://changetherules.org.au/