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It’s time to Change the Rules – May Day 2018

Join us this May Day to Change The Rules
Saturday 5 May, 10am Victoria Square

In the spirit of challenging the fairness of the current system, the 2018 Adelaide May Day march will be calling for the current IR system to be overhauled – The current system is broken and we do need to Change the Rules.

 The May Day March and Solidarity Fair will take place in Adelaide on Saturday 5 May. Members, families and friends are asked to meet in Victoria Square (Tardanyangga) at 10am for a 10:30am start. We will then march to Light Square (Wauwi) where there will be further speeches, live music and entertainment for the kids.

If you think the system is working:

Ask anybody in the Catholic system how the rules did not allow access to the independent umpire when the parties were locked in disagreement over the EA negotiations. The “New Approaches” to conciliation is only available with the agreement of both parties .. and our SA Catholic employers refused to agree.

Ask any member in a Catholic school how accessible was the taking of even low level industrial action. The formality and restrictions are designed to prevent people exercising their democratic right to with-hold their labour, rather than to regulate it.

Ask people in any system how fair it is that they are not allowed to take protected industrial action when negotiating a “Multi Enterprise EA” rather than a “Single Interest EA”.

Ask any retail or hospitality worker – perhaps members of your own family – how fair it is for penalty rates to be reduced.

Ask any precarious worker such as in a Seven-Eleven or kitchen or service station how fair it is that they are deliberately underpaid or forced to pay back some of their pay each week, under threat of being sacked and sent back to their country of origin.

The ACTU has a plan to restore the authority of the workplace umpire.

The peak body for working people has called for the independence and authority of the Fair Work Commission to be restored so the body is able to deliver fairness for working people.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus has called for changes that will enable the industrial umpire to be an effective “one-stop shop” for resolving disputes and addressing mistreatment at work. The changes would see working people able to enforce their legal rights quickly, easily and without a cost. It would allow disputes between working people and big business to be resolved more fairly, negating the unfair advantage big business holds in an expensive and technical court process.

The proposed reforms include:

– The power to make orders that will see victims of wage theft repaid in full in a faster, more efficient process than the current expensive and drawn out court processes

– The power to make decisions based on what is fair and reasonable in a broad range of matters, including applications to vary the minimum wage and ensure that awards keep pace with community standards

– Empowering the umpire to resolve workplace disputes fairly and quickly

 ACTU Secretary Sally McManus summed it up concisely. “At a time when big business has too much power, working people need a strong umpire to help restore the balance. To end wage theft, restore fair wages and make our jobs more secure, we need to be able to enforce our rights. But when working people today try to enforce their legal rights they’re faced with a complex, costly and overly technical court system. A strong and independent umpire in the workplace is a vital part of changing the rules so Australians can have more secure jobs and fair pay rises.”

This is the next “WorkChoices” moment in our political debate. It is time to take a stand for fairness. See you at the march!