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ACTU Secretary Sally McManus Talks Permanency with Child Protection Workers

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus visited Department of Communities in Cannington to discuss permanency and secure work with child protection workers.

Members discussed issues around the 1400 people working in Communities who are on fixed-term contracts, with some revealing they’ve been on rolling 3-month contracts for four years.

Ms McManus said there are 1.8million people in Australia who are underemployed and nearly 4 million in insecure work.

“Our campaign is about changing the rules, it’s about fighting for a more equal and fairer sociality for all of us.

“Governments need to make sure their working people have the right rules and protections, so they have job security and their fair share in pay rises.

“With insecure work, a lot of people will say “It’s just inevitable that jobs are becoming more insecure, it’s just the way the world’s going, there nothing that can be done about it.”

“It’s really important for us to say as trade unionists, that’s not true.

“Actually we have the highest rate of temporary work in the OECD and the second highest rate of insecure work in the OECD.

“All of those countries are doing very well without the level of insecure work that we’ve got,” she said.

Ms McManus revealed since the 1970’s workplace laws have been weakened allowing insecure work to flourish.

“Our laws allow employers to call workers casuals… When they’re not. Or they put them on endless on-going rolling contracts or use Labor Hire, another form of insecure work.

“All of those things can be fixed by stronger laws,” she said.

McManus then gave the example workplace laws in Germany, where employers are not  allowed to renew a fixed-term contract more than twice or longer than four years – whichever is less.

The CPSU/CSA’s Path to Permanency Campaign is aimed at tackling insecure work, if you’ve been on numerous rolling contracts contact your organiser for the list of criteria.

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