Australia Needs a Pay Rise Rally

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Whilst more than 50 Council Officers (mostly CEO’s & Directors) earn as much as or more than the Premier, pay increases for local government workers are at an all-time low, with most hovering around or below CPI.

This issue is not confined to Local Government with wage growth stagnating across the country in the last few years. Even the Governor of the Reserve Bank said recently that a return to a world where wage increases start "with a 3 rather than a 2 is both possible and desirable".

The ASU together with other unions are campaigning to change the rules so that working people have more secure jobs and better pay.

We need a pay rise and secure work. We need to change the rules to give all working people the basic rights they need to improve their living standards.

Be part of the movement for change and join us and other unions:

23 October from 10:30-12:30
Victorian Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton

https://www.facebook.com/events/314587735967152/

The Change the Rules campaign is a once in a generation fight that we must win to ensure that we secure our working conditions and protect them for our children and future generations.

Change the Rules Tasmania

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Our ACTU Branch Secretary Sally Mc Manus was in Hobart to connect with the union members engaged in the National “Change the Rules” campaign. There was a good amount of people who attended even though it was freezing and rainy, they arrived in the new home of Tasmanian Unions, 212 Liverpool Street.

It was the Wednesday just before the formal “2nd Liberal Spill for 2018”, so there was lots of chatter about who would be our next PM – that evening we had no idea it would be Mr Scott Morrison!

Has your workplace held a workplace meeting to support the campaign to Change the Rules? This can be run by union members and simply ask co-workers to join your union, talk briefly about the campaign, encourage them to speak to family and friends, then take a group photo of your workplace meeting, please contact ASU Growth & Campaigns Organiser Seranna Shutt on 0459 228 612 for advice or posters for your photos.

We are super keen to have lots of photos of workplace meetings in Tasmania and supporting the solution to “Change the Rules” that means: More secure jobs, So working people can WIN fair Pay rises, So workers have RIGHTS that can be ENFORCED, So working people are put FIRST, not big business.

The ASU follows Sally on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in just the past month she has met with grassroots members all around the country in various states attending picket lines (5) with the 1600 Alcoa Pinjarra striking workers, been doing lots of media, conducting savvy social media polls & political updates, impressively when there was the “Change the Rules Campaign launch” in NSW Banks & Reid there were 50 different cultures in attendance- that is some impressive community organising!

Sally thinks outside the square and has even been going out to community sporting games and talking about “Change the rules” This month she attended the St George and Bulldogs game- if you’re keen to get the word out with us, we are open to looking at educating the community and sporting games is a place with lots of crowds.

More info at: www.changetherules.org.au

7 steps to rein in living costs

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Try these simple strategies from industry super fund-owned bank ME to manage bills without dipping into a savings honeypot.

Feeling strapped for cash? You’re not alone. According to ME’s latest Household Financial Comfort Report, more Aussies are being forced to dip into their savings to cover rising living costs. Take a look at seven ways to claim victory over these rising costs.

  1. Review your spending – think you know where your money goes? Don’t be so sure. Check out your everyday account statements for the real picture on what your spending looks like. Chances are you’re forking out more than you realise on non-essentials, and small but regular treats like take-out are often a key culprit.

  2. Plan your grocery shopping – the cost of necessities is the biggest financial worry for Australian households. Plan your spending and aim for one major shop each week to avoid trips to expensive convenience stores. Time your supermarket trips for later in the day when perishables are often heavily discounted. Or shop online to bypass impulse buys.

  3. Check you’re getting the best deal on utilities – we’re being slugged by rising power bills but you don’t just have to wear higher energy costs. It may be possible to cut hundreds off your annual power bill just by switching to a cheaper provider1 . Check out websites like Energy Made Easy or Energy Watch to see if you could save.

  4. Rethink your mileage – 90% of motorists regularly head to the same service station to fuel up, yet petrol prices can vary by up to 10 cents per litre across different outlets. Make a beeline for an independent servo if possible – the ACCC found they tend to offer the cheapest fuel2 . Petrol prices also vary from day to day. A variety of fuel price websites and apps such as MotorMouth can tell you when petrol is cheapest. Save even more by rethinking the need for a second car, or make your vehicle earn its keep with a peer-to-peer car sharing service like Car Next Door.

  5. Monitor your digital spend – from on-demand TV to excess data charges, staying connected could be draining your bank account. Cut back where you can, and be sure your plan is right for you. It can work out cheaper to overestimate your data usage rather than pay a fortune for a couple of extra megabytes.

  6. Go easy on convenience apps, hard on money management apps – set clear spending limits for apps that encourage nice-but-not-necessary spending like home delivered meals. Load up on free apps like TrackMySpend that make monitoring your spending a breeze.

  7. Don’t let Insta-envy fuel impulse buys – we used to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, but these days social media can be the thing that encourages unplanned purchases. Give priority to growing savings rather than ‘likes’.

Armed with a new approach to living costs, it’s possible rein in spending and keep your savings soaring.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.

 

1 https://stat.mozo.com.au/images/more-on-mozo/media-releases/MOZO-MEDIA-RELEASE-victorian-energy-price-changes-final.pdf
2 https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/1411_Report%20on%20petrol%20prices%20in%202017_FA.pdf

 

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What is the role of an ASU Delegate?

ASUD

As we head towards the ASU Delegates Conference in October you may have wondered “what is the role of an ASU Delegate?”

A union delegate is another union member just like you. They have a job to do every day, and they answer to the same management that you do. The key difference is that a union delegate has training, tools and protections to help you and other members solve problems at work! In short, the job of a Delegate is to act as representative of the Union in the workplace. In conjunction with ASU officials, the duty of a Delegate is to advance and protect the interests of the Union and the wages, conditions and welfare of its members.

Some of the ways delegates do are:

  • Promote the Union, its activities and the benefits of membership, including participation in induction sessions for new employees;
  • Enroll new members into the ASU and maintain a high level of membership;
  • Provide assistance to Union members requiring it, including assisting in resolving disputes;
  • Promote and campaign for improved conditions of employment in the workplace and/or industry;
  • Involvement in negotiating enterprise agreements including by preparing members’ claims, representing the Union during negotiations and communicating regularly with members and ASU officials;
  • Encourage and promote the training of Delegates and of members in matters affecting their conditions of employment and participating in such training where appropriate;
  • Deal with instances of a breach of any industrial instrument or Union policy or regulation applying at the workplace;
  • Distribute and disseminate notices, newsletters, messages sent by the union office.

Delegates have rights under legislation, and during enterprise bargaining the ASU builds further on these, for example:

  • Being a workplace delegate without detriment or discrimination in their employment
  • Formal recognition by the employer that elected or appointed workplace delegates speak on behalf of their colleagues
  • Be consulted with by the employer in relation to workplace changes
  • Participate in negotiations, dispute resolution and organising protected industrial action
  • Consult with colleagues during worktime in relation to a concern or dispute

In any workplace, regular delegates meetings are an important part of an effective delegate structure. This ensures that issues arising in the workplace can be nutted out early and communication is kept open between the union office and workplace delegates. It is so important to have a range of delegates that come from different departments, as this ensures that the issues can be identified easier and in most cases quicker, and that the delegate is representative of that area.

As you can see, delegates perform an invaluable role with workers, and their efforts undeniably lead to fairer and safer workplaces! Next time you walk past your union delegate at work don’t forget to thank them and say hi!

Australia’s First Gender Equality Bill: Have Your Say

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The Andrews Labor Government is enshrining gender equality in law for the first time in Australian history.

The draft Gender Equality Bill (2018) proposes that Victorian Government departments, the public sector and local governments achieve gender equality through quotas, action plans and reporting.

According to the International Gender Gap Index, the top three ranking countries – Iceland, Finland and Norway – have gender equality legislation.

Targets, action plans and reporting need to be enshrined in law. While Victoria does have laws that prevent discrimination based on gender, there is currently no law to proactively progress gender equality.

The evidence is clear: when public bodies are compelled to promote gender equality by law, gender equality improves. That’s why gender equality legislation is a critical part of Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

Face-to-face consultation with stakeholders on the legislation will commence later this month. A Citizens’ Jury on the Bill will be held in September.

The Citizen’s Jury will allow Victorians to have their say on how quotas will work in the public sector. The findings will be reported to the Minister for Women.

To find out more about the Citizen’s Jury and have your say on the Gender Equality Bill, visit engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality.

Consultations on the Bill are open until 28 September.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“We need gender equality urgently, but the pace of change is too slow. Its 2018 and women are still paid less than the men they work with. Gender equality is essential for economic prosperity.”

“The equality between women and men needs to be law. Good intentions aren’t cutting it.”

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