Australians want workplace laws that provide secure jobs, not greater power for employers!


Any further changes to workplace laws should improve job security, rights and protections for the millions of people in insecure work, not hand more power to employers, say unions.

In its submission to the review of the Fair Work Act, the ACTU will propose reforms within the framework of the existing legislation to improve the rights to collective bargaining and the safety net for insecure workers.

The ACTU will release its submission, along with research that shows its proposals are in tune with the majority of Australians and that the campaign by employer groups against workers is dramatically out of touch with public sentiment.

The survey of more than 2000 people found that 57% believe that any new workplace laws should aim to give employees more reliable work. Just 14% said new laws were needed to give businesses greater flexibility in how they employ people.

Even among Liberal voters, twice as many were in favour of laws to help workers as supported laws that suited employers (49% to 24%).

“There is no public mood to hand over increased power to employers, but more importantly, there is no credible evidence or rationale in the way the Fair Work Act is operating to justify this either,” said ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence.

“Our submission will clearly demonstrate that the contrary to the myths being perpetrated by employers, the Fair Work Act has been irrefutably good for workers and good for the economy.

“The facts show that a record number of collective agreements are being made, industrial disputes are down, the economy is growing at a steady pace, unemployment and inflation are low, and wage growth is solid and sustainable. Profits are close to all-time record highs, while wages’ share of national income is at a 40-year low, so business has nothing to complain about.

“The future of Australia’s workplace system is in collective bargaining and a co-operative approach; slash-and-burn, bully boy tactics like those of Qantas need to be stopped.

“The protections and entitlements of the 40% of Australians in insecure jobs as casuals, contractors or labour hire workers must be improved, and workers should have the right to bargain about job security. Secure jobs that pay decent wages and have workplace rights can be built on our economic strengths.”

Mr Lawrence said unions shared the goal of lifting Australia’s rate of productivity growth, but warned that giving more power to employers to fire workers or cut pay and conditions would not lead to better productivity.

“Productivity improvements come from the high road of greater levels of trust and co-operation between workers and employers, and from investment in skills, technology, infrastructure and innovation,” Mr Lawrence said.

Do you agree?

Image credit: NSWNA

Remember to sign the NSWNA Recency of Practice Petition! 

Don’t forget to enter our new contest too!



  1. ” Productivity ” ??

    What is ‘productivity’ in Nursing, especially in residential Aged Care ??

    This demonstrates how ‘out of touch’ Govt. is with the issues of Nursing. They can’t even use an appropriate terminology – relevant to our workplace situation.

    Nurses and Aged Care staff are not in a ‘business’. We certainly don’t see ourselves as ‘business people’.

    We need to have our Union make it quite clear, that we are a ‘people’ based industry, and we need to hear about our workplace conditions described in the appropriate language.

    So, stop talking about us as a ‘business’, in terms of ‘productivity’, and ‘output units’, or integrated business models ( nursing homes ) etc. etc.

    We want to hear more about reasonable workloads and reasonable pay. Spare us the rest of stuff we don’t need to know about.


  2. Very diasappointed in our Union for not supporting EEN staff at the RACF where I’m currently working …

    We recently commenced a new Workplace Agreement. There’s a clause that basically protects previous entitlements etc. Well, that’s only if the Employer WANTS to !!

    Our EENs were being paid RN2 rates of pay for for carrying out 98% of an RN’s job description ( all except S8 & S4ds ).

    Employer has now decided, that won’t happen anymore … the payrate that is … the EENs will still have to do a junior RN’s role, but no more being paid for it.

    One EEN will some ‘great number of years’ Membership of NSWNA has RESIGNED her Union Membership as a result of the ‘non action’ from the Union over the issue.

    If the Federal & State Governments are genuinely serious about reforms in Health & Aged Care ( to include staff retention rates etc. ), then how about starting off with one of THE MOST BASIC premises in our wider society … A FAIR DAY’S PAY FOR A FAIR DAY’S WORK !!!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here