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Employment and Workplace Relations

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WA public sector faces WorkChoices Mark II

Western Australia’s public sector workers face tough times ahead, Australian Greens Senator for WA, Rachel Siewert has warned.

“WA public sector workers will be left out of reforms to national industrial relations laws because the Rudd Government has not been able to resolve the jurisdictional mess that has arisen from basing IR laws on the corporations power,” Senator Siewert said.

“Prior to Work Choices, our industrial relations laws were based on the conciliation and arbitration power, which provided more flexibility in accessing fair laws at a national level.

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Negotiations still underway on Fair Work Bill

The Australian Greens will be pursuing significant amendments to the Government's Fair Work Bill as negotiations continue in the Senate.

"Following our meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Gillard yesterday, I am today writing to the Minister, detailing the Greens position and proposals on this Bill," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The negotiations over the Fair Work Bill will be a difficult process for the Government, and Minister Gillard is very aware that she needs to keep all the cross-bench Senators happy."

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Fair Work Bill 2nd Reader Speech

The Greens believe that the workplace has a central part to play in most people's lives. We spend a large proportion of our time at work, and work is important for our social and economic wellbeing. The regulation of the workplace and the relationship between employers and employees affects the lives of millions of Australians. It has a central role in shaping the type of society we live in and it reflects the values we hold. The Fair Work Bill 2008 is therefore an extremely significant piece of legislation.

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Greens move to strengthen workers’ rights

The Australian Greens today outlined their plan to strengthen workers' rights in the upcoming Senate debate over the Fair Work Bill.

"This Bill is an improvement on Work Choices, but also keeps many elements of the Howard laws. The Greens will be working to ensure that workers' rights are properly protected," said Senator Brown.

Senator Brown and Senator Rachel Siewert will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard later this afternoon to discuss the Fair Work Bill.

Amongst others, the key amendments the Greens will be proposing are:

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Greens support Telstra workers

The Australian Greens today put their support behind Telstra workers rallying for better relations with their employer.

"In a time of increasing economic uncertainty, we need to restore equality to the workplace, and the Greens put their support behind these workers and their right to take action against disparity," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

Workers from Telstra will rally outside a company briefing from CEO Sol Trujillo in Melbourne today as part of an industrial campaign for new pay and conditions.

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WA must move beyond mining to resilient economy: Greens

Greens highlight emergency relief for struggling families as more mines close

Western Australia must create a more resilient economy that can ride out mining busts and the current round of job cuts, according to the Australian Greens.

“The need for emergency relief is becoming evermore apparent as each day more Western Australians find themselves out of work through mining closures and cutbacks,” Australian Greens Employment and Workplace Relations Spokeswoman Rachel Siewert said.

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Time for a real revolution in Aboriginal education and employment: Greens

The Australian Greens today called for a renewed push in Aboriginal education and employment.

"We have a huge inequality in this country - one that we should be ashamed of. The gap in literacy and employment rates remain huge and opportunities taken for granted by most Australians are non-existent for Aboriginal Australians," said Australian Greens Aboriginal issues spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

The Greens expressed support for Professor Mick Dodson's strong statements on the state of Aboriginal education, at his National Press Club address yesterday.

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