Unions will seek to shield Australian workers from the Abbott Government’s cruel and unfair budget by pushing through workplace claims to pass the costs onto employers.

“If an employer requires a worker to provide a sick note then unions will make an industrial claim for the company to pay the $7GP co-payment,” said ACTU National Secretary Dave Oliver.

“More than 4 million Australian workers are covered by enterprise bargaining agreements and unions will be fighting to get clauses into all new agreements to help workers cope with the harsher budget measures.”

Mr Oliver said the ACTU Executive will today vote to endorse a new enterprise bargaining toolkit for unions detailing industrial claims workers can make to cover the cost of the Abbott Government’s unfair budget measures.

Industrial claims include:

• Employers to reimburse workers for the $7 GP co-payment if a sick note is required
• A working parents allowance of $13.75 per week if the current child care rebate is frozen at $7,500 rather than continuing to be indexed at CPI
• Workers to be paid $0.78 per km if using their own vehicle on employer’s business to compensate for the fuel excise increase
• Workers to claim a 0.5% superannuation increase per year over four years so they are not disadvantaged by the Government’s decision to freeze the Superannuation Guarantee at 9.5 per cent for four years

“Unions will also be fighting to ensure employers guarantee all existing penalty rates, which are under concerted attack by business groups and the Government,” said Mr Oliver.

“The Government is targeting hardworking Australians who can least afford it, while at the same time giving big business a 1.5 per cent cut to company tax and freezing the increase to the Superannuation Guarantee.”

“As a result of cuts to family payment and the new GP and fuel tax, a family with two children and a single earner on $65,000 will be around $1,600 this year and $6,000 worse off in two years’ time,” said Mr Oliver.

“Unions will not stand by and let hardworking Australians be unfairly targeted by this Government,” said Mr Oliver.

“The ACTU’s new enterprise bargaining toolkit will empower workers to fight back against the Government’s cruel attack on hardworking Australians.”