Jobs and Workers’ Rights

Alliance Party Jobs and Workers’ Rights Policy

Preamble

  • Increases in profits usually come at the expense of workers. Low hourly rates and the loss of overtime rates mean low-paid workers are worse off in real terms than they were 15 years ago. Workers often work long hours just to make ends meet.

  • The economy is growing significantly, but the average worker continues to see a marginal rise in pay.

  • Unemployment is at an all-time low, but many jobs are part-time or casual. These workers often miss out on basic entitlements and are easily dismissed from their jobs.

  • The Alliance increased the minimum wage when we were in Government and we scrapped youth rates for 18 and 19 year olds. But the minimum wage is still too low at $13.50.

  • The State contracts out health services such as aged care to private providers, or cleaning in hospitals, but wipes its hands when it comes to ensuring that workers get a living wage and decent conditions.

We stand for the following policies

  • Full employment: The Alliance would create full employment promoted by state-financed regional economic development and public works programmes.

  • Increase the minimum wage: The Alliance will push for a minimum wage of $17 an hour. We oppose discriminatory youth rates. Everyone (those with jobs and beneficiaries) should get a living wage.

  • More free time: A 35-hour working week with no loss of pay and immediate introduction of 5 weeks annual leave. We will push for the right to refuse unreasonable hours or shift work; mandatory penal rates for overtime.

  • Protect casual workers: We will make sure there are protections for casual and part-time workers and make is possible for them to carry over service from job to job so they qualify for sick leave and parental leave. Casual workers should get a day in lieu and time-and-a-half if they work on a public holiday like everyone else.

  • Responsible contracting: Where employers get public money to deliver services, we think they should be required to meet national standards in pay and conditions.

  • Redundancy: All workers should have the right to a minimum redundancy payment, but many do not have the power to negotiate this. We will push for minimum redundancy of 4 weeks, plus 2 weeks for every year of service.

  • Pay equity: Pay inequities will be reduced when we have free childcare, after-school care and when the work that women commonly do is rewarded with decent pay.

  • Paid parental leave: Workers who become primary caregivers should get 12 months paid parental leave and their partners should get 2 weeks paid parental leave.

  • National pay and conditions: The Alliance would strengthen collective bargaining to move from multi-employer and multi-union agreements to national pay and conditions across industries and occupations. We would remove restrictions that allow free-loaders to get out of paying bargaining fees.

  • Right to strike: Workers should have the right to strike to enforce their Collective Agreement, to oppose lay-offs, to support other workers and for political reasons.

  • Workplace democracy: Workers should have a say in the way work is organised. The Alliance will push for stronger employment legislation to ensure greater workplace democracy.