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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Award changes rip up workplace conditions … not Work Choices - Greens

"The ALP is currently ripping up workers' hard won conditions, rather than delivering on its promise to rip up Work Choices," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The award modernisation process currently underway will result in fewer minimum standards than existed before Work Choices, with the most vulnerable workers hit hardest yet again."

"The term 'modernisation' hides the reality of a reduced safety net, AWAs by another name, and the politicisation of our minimum standards of work," said Senator Siewert.

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Greens support union calls for immediate changes to Work Choices

"The poll results released today by the ACTU come as no surprise to the Australian Greens," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Australians voted to get rid of Work Choices at the last election but instead we still have AWAs, millions of workers not protected from unfair dismissal and award conditions being stripped away."

"In fact what we are getting from this ALP Government is Work Choices Lite," said Senator Siewert.

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Award modernisation - what’s going on?

Massive upheaval is occurring to Australia's standard employment conditions and minimum wages, with little to no understanding or public attention.

The ‘award modernisation' process currently underway in the AIRC, following a request from the Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, will impact on all Australian workers ... either directly through loss of conditions or indirectly through lowering the base from which agreements can be made.

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Mighell's right - its Work Choices-lite: Greens

The Australian Greens share secretary of the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, Dean Mighell's view that the ALP will not be abolishing Work Choices when they finally introduce their industrial relations changes later this year.

"We hold grave concerns that the ALP will do little more than smooth the rough edges of Work Choices, rather than implementing the fundamental change that is needed," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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HREOC strain under Work Choices Lite

During Senate Estimates last night, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission confirmed $1.8 million of funding to support workplace related complaints has been cut by the Rudd Government, placing more stress on the Commission.
HREOC received additional money when Work Choices was introduced, as it was expected that workplace related complaints would increase, given the abolition of unfair dismissal protections. The Government has now cut this funding.

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Rudd has slashed worker support: HREOC

During Senate Estimates this evening, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission confirmed $1.8 million of funding to support workplace related complaints has been cut by the Rudd Government.

"The Government is trying to justify the cuts by saying Work Choices will eventually be abolished. However, they do not intend to re-introduce unfair dismissal protections until 2010," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Industrial Relations, Senator Rachel Siewert late this evening.

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Greens welcome investigation into ABCC "Star Chamber"

The Australian Greens welcome the appointment of Justice Wilcox to investigate the Government's plans to replace the ABCC.

"We remain convinced there is no need for a separate body to oversee the building and construction industry and hope this investigation will confirm our position that the ABCC's powers, including those limiting the right to silence and legal counsel, are unjustified in a modern industrial relations system," said Rachel Siewert.

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Greens predict CDEP 'bonanza'

Senator Rachel Siewert predicted that the re-introduction of the CDEP scheme in prescribed communities in the Northern Territory in June would result in a rush of willing participants who were keen to escape from the prescriptive welfare quarantining measures and take control of their own money.

"While The Greens welcome the announced reintroduction of CDEP, I question the ability of the reinstated local CDEP organisations on these communities to cope with the expected demand for positions," said Senator Siewert in Darwin today.

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Greens support NT teachers' industrial action

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert made a strong statement of support in Alice Springs today for industrial action being taken by teachers in the Northern Territory.

"The legitimate efforts of teachers in the NT to negotiate for fairer work conditions are currently being hampered by an uncooperative NT Labor Government," said Senator Siewert.

Teachers in the NT recently took industrial action after the Commissioner for Public Employment again failed to deliver an offer that would guarantee teachers equitable pay and conditions.

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