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

  • Future Strategies – unions working for a fairer Australia
  • Union Shopper Competition
  • Redundancy Test Case
  • The Medicare Debacle
  • Future of Work Conference
  • VC Helps Detainee in Baxter
  • The National Wrap
  • Age Can Workf
  • APHEDA Raffle Closes Soon
  • Organising Centre Training Dates
  • Winners from the Organising Conference
  • About Member Connect
  • Future Strategies – unions working for a fairer Australia

    “Unions have long been advocates of a socially inclusive set of values and as the pace of change quickens, this role has become even more important.

    By clearly articulating their principles, unions can forge a greater sense of unity, better demonstrate what we stand for in the community and build public support for union social and economic goals.

    We must rise to the challenge over values.”

    Greg Combet

    ACTU Secretary

    2nd Australasian Organising Conference speech

    Greg Combet released ‘Future Strategies’ at the May Organising Conference at Sydney Uni where he urged all officials, and organisers in particular, to read and act on the report.

    Future Strategies sets out the big picture challenges confronting unions and offers practical advice on building union strength and relevance in a society much-altered by globalisation and 7 years of conservative rule.

    Copies have been sent to all unions. Additional copies can be ordered by contacting Stephanie Neumann at the ACTU Communications Unit 03 9664 7321 or Future Strategies can also be downloaded from the ACTU website.

    The ACTU also released a Draft Statement of Australian Union Values at the conference which unions could consider adopting at the ACTU Congress in August.

    To download a copy of the Draft Statement of Australian Union Values, go to:

    To read Greg Combet’s speech launching Future Strategies: Unions Working for a Fairer Australia go to:

    To read papers by Chris Walton, Michael Crosby, CTU Secretary Paul Goulter and SEIU Organising Director Amy Gladstein go to:

    Competition – Union Shopper Gift Voucher

    For your chance to win a Coles gift voucher worth $50 simply tell us in 25 words or less which ACTU Member Connect product or service is the most effective for membership retention and why.

    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.

    Please email your responses to by Friday 20 June 2003

    Redundancy Test Case – a fairer way to say goodbye

    This week, the ACTU launched a Test Case in the Industrial Relations Commission to increase redundancy entitlements for millions of employees across Australia, including casuals.

    The case seeks to:

  • double severance entitlements from eight weeks pay to 16 weeks pay for
    workers made redundant after more than six years of service;
  • increase severance pay for workers with between two and five years service
    in line with the current New South Wales standard; and
  • provide up to four weeks extra severance pay for workers aged over 45, who
    on average face being unemployed for more than twice as long as younger
  • The ACTU believes the current cap on severance pay of 8 weeks is inadequate, with redundant workers on average experiencing 22 weeks of unemployment.

    To keep up-to-date with the latest news, go to:

    The Medicare Debacle – workers to pay 3 times

    “Australians already pay for their health insurance through general
    taxes and the Medicare levy. The Howard Government’s plan would force people to
    pay a third time through GP co-payments or private health

    Sharan Burrow

    ACTU President

    ‘Save Medicare Summit’ May 2

    The ACTU recently convened a Save Medicare Summit at its Melbourne headquarters, marking the start of a campaign keenly taken up by many unions and TLCs.

    Speakers included ALP leader Simon Crean, Greens and Democrat senators, Anglican and Catholic church leaders, the Australian Council of Social Services, Doctors Reform Society, Pensioners Association and a swag of union representatives.

    They unanimously resolved to block changes to Medicare in the Senate and take the campaign to the community. Greg Combet and Sharan Burrow have already addressed a number of rallies, including regional areas.

    After undermining Medicare for seven years and promoting private health insurance, John Howard now dishonestly argues that access to bulk billing was ‘never intended to be universal’.

    Howard’s plan is to cut bulk-billing except for pensioners and health care card holders. Doctors will be free to set upfront fees as high as they like, which means all working people, even those earning as little as $32,000 a year will be forced to pay more to visit the GP.

    The ACTU and unions believe in access to decent health care regardless of a person’s income. This is an issue that touches all working families and unions have a role to play in protecting a system of affordable, good quality healthcare for all Australians. To download the Save Medicare Fact Sheet , go to:

    Unions can also order stickers and buttons through the ACTU. Contact Stephanie at by Friday March 30 to place an order.

    Future of Work Conference – Invitation to Unionists

    On June 12 in Sydney a ‘Future of Work’ conference has been organised by ACIRRT and the ACTU.

    The conference aims to stimulate debate about the big issues that have arisen from economic and workplace change over the past decade such as casualisation, contracting out, longer working hours, work and family pressures, training and skills issues and the growth of low paid jobs.

    Union leaders, policy, industrial, legal, organising and communications staff are encouraged to attend.

    Speakers include: Greg Combet (ACTU), Helen Creed (LHMU), Ged Cowin (ANF), John Buchanan (ACIRRT), Peter McDonald (ANU), Barbara Pocock (Adelaide University), Bob Gregory (ANU), Michael Pusey ( University of NSW), Sol Labovic (NewsPoll), Paul Kelly (The Australian),