The monthly e-Mag combining organising stories and ACTU news with member benefits updates. Read on or have it delivered fresh to your In Box every month…

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In This Edition

  • The Future of Work
  • ACTU Work and Family Test Case
  • VC – Bridging the Digital Divide
  • VC Products and Services
  • Win 12 Months Pre-Paid Internet Access
  • Workers Rights on the Web
  • Campaign Updates and Downloads
  • Nation Focus
  • Obituary – Tas Bull
  • Vale – Matthew Reynolds
  • APHDEA Raffle Winners
  • The Organiser/Union Shopper Winners
  • About Member Connect
  • Useful Info on the ACTU Website…
  • The Future of Work: new standards must underpin
    Australia’s “flexible” workforce

    The ACTU’s Future of Work report was recently released in Sydney by
    Secretary Greg Combet who warned that one in three workers would be casual by
    the end of the decade, with many already missing out on basic entitlements and a
    fair share of Australia’s current economic prosperity.

    “Employers are reaping the benefits of greater job flexibility, but
    this flexibility isn’t being extended to workers who also need to plan and
    balance their lives. We need new, fairer standards to underpin casual,
    part-time and short term contract work,” he said.

    Combet says employment conditions for casuals could be strengthened by
    securing a minimum award standard giving casuals the right to permanency after 6
    months and through the ACTU’s Work and Family Test Case which seeks to
    extend unpaid maternity leave from one to two years and enshrine the right to
    negotiate for flexible hours.

    The Future of Work research, conducted by ACIRRT, overturns stereotypes about
    the working population and reveals startling trends which will leave more
    workers exposed to job insecurity and no entitlements such as sick leave, annual
    leave and long service.

    The Australian newspaper, a co-sponsor of the conference, ran a week-long
    series of feature articles (6 -13 June) on the ACTU’s new report.

    To read the Future of Work or presentations of speakers at the conference go

    ACTU Work and Family Test Case

    Many people feel work is taking over their lives. Families are under pressure
    and many workers feel they have no control. Working people need more choice and
    a better balance between their commitments as parents, family members and

    This week the ACTU will begin a Work and Family Test Case in the IRC.

    The case seeks flexible choices for employees at different stages of family
    life by establishing new standards in industrial awards to:

  • Give a right for full-time employees returning from parental leave to
    part-time work.
  • Allow employees to “buy” up to six weeks a year extra annual
    leave through averaged salary adjustments (eg for school
  • Give a right to reasonable unpaid emergency leave for family
    responsibilities (eg caring for sick or frail aged family
  • Allow employees to request changes to start and finish times (eg to
    accommodate school and childcare appointments).
  • Extend the current provision for unpaid maternity leave (parental leave)
    from 12 months to 24 months.
  • Go to the Future of Work webpage for campaign material.

    Communities: Bridging the Digital Divide

    “Having sold over 50,000 computers to union members, Virtual
    Communities has a solid reputation in the community. The ACTU’s
    endorsement of the Virtual Communities computer and Internet packages reflects
    our belief that these represent the easiest, most affordable deals for people to
    access information and communication technology.”

    ACTU President, Sharan Burrow.

    Australians increasingly rely on computers and the internet to work, study, communicate, play and perform their banking. In the week prior to 2001, 44% of Australians had used a computer and 29% had used the internet at home.

    Computer technology usage broadens skills development, aids educational
    progress and improves access to information and services. An inability to use a
    computer puts people, especially children, at a severe disadvantage and is akin
    to being illiterate.

    Research shows that the people for whom computer technology is most out of
    reach include low-income earners. The lower the household income, the least
    likely a person is to have used a computer or the internet in their home.

    Unions are committed to helping working families gain access to affordable,
    quality online information technology. The ACTU, through its association with
    Virtual Communities since 1999, is proud to provide IBM and Optima desktop pcs
    and laptops, internet and broadband communication to union members.

    Virtual Communities Products and Services

    Computer hardware and accessories such as scanners, printers and digital
    cameras can be purchased outright or financed, with a low fixed interest rate of
    only 9.25% through Members Equity. Virtual Communities will also deliver to
    members’ homes as well as arrange installation and ISP connection.

    Virtual Communities has just released low cost broadband and ISP

    Call 1300 131 789

    Win 12 Months Pre-Paid Internet Access

    To mark Virtual Communities’ provision of internet deals such as
    Dial-up internet and Broadband Internet you have the chance to win a 12 month
    prepaid internet disc valued at $269.

    Simply put in an order for 200 of VC’s new catalogues and email by 17 July 2003 to
    win. Second prize is a Village Cinema complimentary pass for two.

    Rights on the Web

    The ACTU and the NSW Labor Council, in a joint online initiative, have
    launched a Your Rights At Work area on the ACTU and Labornet websites. These
    FAQs use the resources of the ACTU’s Call Centre and Wages and Employment
    Rights section to build on the Labor Council’s Ask Neale area on Labornet.

    The FAQs are presented under the following categories: All About Unions,
    Casual, part-time and temporary employment, Apprentices and trainees, Pay,
    entitlements and conditions at work, Bullying, harassment and OHS, Redundancy,
    termination of employment and unfair dismissal, About awards and agreements,
    Rights, obligations and responsibilities, Discrimination and equal

    Go to:

    Campaign Updates and Downloads

    The AMWU – Morris McMahon dispute

    AMWU members have been on strike at manufacturing company Morris McMahon in
    Sydney since 10 March. There has been a 24 hour, 7 day a week picket in place
    for 15 weeks.

    AMWU National Secretary Doug Cameron, Organiser Vanessa Seagrove and
    Morris McMahon delegates are leading negotiations with management to
    resolve the dispute.

    Morris McMahon has ignored the legitimate requests of employees to bargain
    for a registered collective agreement, causing the long and divisive stand-off.

    The dispute highlights the failure of the Workplace Relations Act to ensure
    parties bargain in good faith.

    ACTU Secretary Greg Combet, Opposition leader Simon Crean and Shadow Minister
    for Workplace Relations, Robert McClelland have all spent time on the picket
    line with the workers. The Shadow Minister will move amendments to the Workplace
    Relations Act that would restore the powers of Australia’s independent
    industrial umpire – the Australian Industrial Relations Commission –
    to ensure parties bargain in good faith in the workplace.

    If you would like to make a donation to the families of striking workers, the
    bank account details are:

    National Bank

    BSB # 082 057

    Acct # 55 584 7758,

    Cheques to AMWU – Morris McMahon Family Support Fund

    For more information go to the AMWU (NSW) home page.

    The Media Entertainment
    and Arts Alliance: preserving Australia’s identity

    Several hundred actors, journalists, musicians and other creative types
    flocked to Melbourne’s Federation Square to support the launch of the
    MEAA’s Free to be Australian campaign in early June. The campaign
    aims to highlight how a free trade agreement with the United States could put
    Australia’s media and arts culture at risk.

    Open and unregulated trade would allow foreign-produced material to be dumped
    on the Australian market, jeopardising the viability of our own artistic output
    and the skills of our local writers, journalists, actors and technicians.

    The Alliance is campaigning for the government to honour its commitment to
    support and protect Australian culture by excluding media, entertainment and the
    arts from all free trade agreements.

    For email and postcard campaigns, the document library, e-bulletins and
    background briefings go to:

    Also at the Alliance –

    MEAA Federal President Patricia Amphlett OAM has been honoured in the Queen’s
    Birthday Honours List for service to the entertainment industry through the
    Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance and Actors’ Equity. Patricia (Little
    Pattie) has been an active member of the union and held elected positions for
    over 30 years. She has campaigned on issues as diverse as performers’ copyright,
    ABC funding, arts funding and cross media ownership.

    The LHMU – International Justice for Cleaners

    On International Justice for Cleaners Day, June 15, unionised cleaners
    in Australia and across the globe demanded a Clearance Sale at Westfield
    Malls – saying Everything Unjust Must Go.

    The widespread community support for the LHMU’s International Justice
    for Cleaners Day campaign has now been translated to Australian politics.

    Federal politicians stood up in parliament last week to lambast the global
    shopping mall giant Westfield for the appalling conditions that so many cleaners
    face working across the globe for the Australian headquartered multinational.

    Senators and MPs have backed the global campaign calling for justice for
    these low-paid workers and congratulated the LHMU for raising the profile in our
    community of the crisis of poverty wages – and demanding fair wages and decent
    work for all Australians.

    The SEIU in the USA and the LHMU in Australia are closely co-operating this
    year in a campaign to urge the 120 Westfield shopping malls around the world to
    respect workers rights.

    The original Justice for Janitors Day grew out of an incident in Los Angeles in 1990, where police beat immigrant janitors during a peaceful demonstration against a cleaning contractor. Janitors continue to be paid poverty wages and receive few, if any benefits.

    For more info, check out the LHMU website.

    Queensland unions
    – Know Your Rights campaign

    Workers and their families in Gladstone, Qld, will be getting to know their
    rights at work during an intensive, week-long campaign coordinated by the
    Queensland Council of Unions.

    The “Know Your Rights” campaign, involving organisers from
    Queensland’s unions, will start Monday, June 23,

    QCU Secretary Grace Grace will address a meeting of Gladstone union
    organisers and delegates from 4pm on Tuesday, June 24, at the Sandpiper Room,
    Grand Hotel, 79 Goondoon St, Gladstone.

    National Focus

    Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howard’s plans to
    re-nuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the
    ACTU’s redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

    Tas Bull

    Tas Bull, former general secretary of the Waterside Workers’ Federation, died
    at his Sydney home on Thursday, May 29.

    A seafarer, waterside worker, socialist and union activist, Tas was elected a
    WWF official in 1967, becoming general secretary in 1984, a position he held
    until his retirement in December 1992. He was also appointed vice president of
    the ACTU in 1987 and senior vice president in 1991 as well as representing the
    Asia Pacific region on the executive board of the International Transport
    Workers’ Federation for 10 years.

    Although retired from the union, Tas Bull did not retire from the struggle,
    distinguishing himself as chairperson of the ACTU organising works program, the
    ACTU overseas aid agency, Apheda, and as president of Cuban Children’s Fund. He
    celebrated his 70th birthday in Havana, Cuba with friends and comrades last

    Tas Bull wrote two books – “On the Waterfront” released during the Patrick
    dispute, and “Politics in the Union” on the 1950’s Hursey dispute.

    Born in Tasmania, Tas went to sea at the age of 14 on British and
    Scandinavian ships joining the Seamen’s Union in 1954 after his return to
    Australia four years later.

    His first industrial battles were fought during the waterfront strikes of
    1954 and 1956 when, as a seafarer, he assisted local WWF strike activity in Port
    Pirie and Hobart. He then joined the waterfront and the WWF in 1956.

    Tas Bull was influential in the decision to amalgamate the WWF and the
    Seamen’s Union of Australia into the Maritime Union of Australia.

    He is survived by his wife Carmen and his two sons Peder and Anders.

    Vale – CPSU National President Matthew Reynolds

    Matthew Reynolds was a deeply loved and respected part of the CPSU family. A
    fact confirmed by the hundreds of heartfelt tributes received by the union.

    He died as a result of a massive and irreparable brain aneurism. He was only
    38. He is survived by his wife Jenny and young children Tayla and Joel.

    Born and raised in Hobart, Matthew could be a shrewd and tough political
    operator when it was needed, but will mostly be remembered as a decent
    trustworthy person with a deep core of human kindness.

    His association with the union began in 1983 in Hobart where he rose to be
    PSU Tasmanian Branch Secretary in 1996. He made the move to Canberra in 1998
    after being elected National President of the merged Community and Public Sector

    Over the last two years, he led a successful campaign re-building the CPSU in
    the ACT Public Service and delivering long overdue improvements in pay and

    His big smile and slightly rumpled suits quickly became familiar hallmarks of
    his personal style. In Canberra he also threw himself into community life and
    was very proud of his role coaching boys and girls in the Belconnen Junior
    Australian Rules Football Club’s Auskick program.

    What should have been a week of election victory celebrations has turned to
    tragedy for a man who made friends easily and influenced many.

    More tributes can be found at

    CPSU has set up a Trust fund to provide for the benefit, advancement and
    education of Matthews’s children Tayla and Joel. To get involved, contact the
    CPSU on 1300 137 636 or make a donation at any Westpac Branch from midday Monday
    26 May 2003.

    Winners: Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA 2003

    The winners of the Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA 2003 raffle drawn last night at
    the NSW Labor Council meeting were:

    First Prize – (trip around the world for two) was Robert Foster from
    Gerrigong, NSW. Robert’s wife, Maureen, is a nurse who takes a book of tickets
    every year.

    Second Prize – (a computer courtesy of Virtual Communities) was Katrina

    Candy from Echuca in Victoria.

    The raffle raised just on $65,300

    Congratulations to the winners. Many thanks to all who sold books of
    tickets, and a special thanks to sponsors, ACTU Member Connect, Members Equity
    and Virtual Communities.

    Competition Winner – Union Shopper Gift

    Congratulations to Solette Louw of the CFMEU who had the winning entry this
    month. Solette nominated Union Shopper travel services for flights and
    accommodation for union members as effective for membership retention because
    the prices are at least 10% cheaper.

    Union Shopper, a free shopping service provides a wide cross-section of goods
    and services to associated unions. For over twenty years Union Shopper has
    provided union members with significant savings and good service.

    About Member Connect

    One of the primary aims of Member Connect is to help unions retain members by
    negotiating discounted services that add value to union membership.

    Member Connect provides a variety of support services, often cost free to
    unions, including:

  • Call Centre Services
  • Conference Sponsorship Coordination
  • Display Stalls
  • Brochures and Giveaways
  • Financial Planning Information Sessions
  • Our range of services for union members include:

  • The Workers Bank – Members Equity
  • The ACTU Endorsed Financial Advisers Network
  • ACTU Call Centre Hotline – 1300 362 223
  • Union Shopper
  • PCs and Internet Packages
  • Discounted Eyewear
  • Credit Cards
  • Cinema Tickets
  • For more information about any of the above, please contact:

    Gina Preston, Union Liaison Manager (Vic, Tas, SA, NT & WA) on (03) 9664
    7384 or

    Suzanne Culph, Union
    Liaison Manager (NSW, ACT & Qld) on 0421 802 552 or

    Useful Info on the ACTU Website


    Super News

    Backcopies of ACTU Super – a
    regular newsletter produced by ACTU Senior Industrial Officer Linda Rubinstein,
    that gives you information about what’s happening with super.


    Unions and Good Labour Relations
    – 14 March 2002 – speech by ACTU
    Secretary Greg Combet

    Banking and Financial Services The Next Leap
    – 20 May 2003 – speech by
    (title please) Gary Weaven

    Superannuation –
    Still An Industrial Issue
    – 12 August 1998 – speech by former ACTU
    President, Jennie George


    Options for
    Improving the Safety of Superannuation

    and Standards of Living in Retirement

    Senate Inquiry –
    Superannuation Guarantee Charge Amendments

    Response To Productivity Commission Review Of Super

    ACTU Congress Policies

    2000 Congress – Wages,
    Superannuation, Collective Bargaining

    1997 Congress –
    Superannuation Resolution

    1995 Congress –

    Congress – Superannuation Policy