Category Archives: Industrial relations

STEPHEN LONG. Reserve Bank boss Philip Lowe urges workers to push for pay rises

It wasn’t quite Karl Marx, but, for a central bank boss, it was heady stuff: The Reserve Bank governor, no less, exhorting workers to demand higher pay rises. 

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WALKER. Three strategies unions are considering for their survival

There are three strategies unions, in danger of lsing their relevance,  can consider for their survival:  Teaming up with other community groups, aligning with particular professions and finding members online.

Posted in Industrial relations, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. 457 visas and our temporary residence system.

In light of government announcement on 457 visas, I have reposted below an article originally posted on 18 November 2016.  See also at end, a link to an article by Joanna Howe in The Canberra Times yesterday.  John Menadue. Oversight … Continue reading

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WAYNE McMILLAN. David versus Goliath: reform and reinvention (Part 2 of 2)

What Sally McManus’s is saying is correct, I agree with her conclusions about what has happened to workers over the last 30 years and what is becoming intolerable now in 2017. Across Australia in 2017, little or no wage growth, … Continue reading

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WAYNE McMILLAN. David and Goliath: One step forward, two steps back. (Part 1 of 2)

Malcom Turnbull’s recent comment that he couldn’t work with Sally McManus the recently elected Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is just another excuse against strong union representation for ordinary waged workers.

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

DAVID PEETZ. How tax minimisation affects CEO pay

Firms whose executives behave ‘unethically’, as proxied by not paying any company tax, are also likely to pay their CEOs an average of around a fifth more than firms of similar size and circumstances who do pay company tax.  

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country – Introduction

John Menadue – introduction to Ian McAuley Series. Many have been surprised and even horrified by the Brexit and Trump results. These events are likely to be followed by similar outcomes in elections in other countries this year. Serious issues … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Industrial relations, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 1 – Who’s been left behind?

In “developed” countries the benefits of 35 years of economic growth have been unevenly distributed. Many people who once had well-paid manufacturing jobs and many who live in the country have fallen behind. While this has been most starkly manifest … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Foreign Affairs, Health, Industrial relations, Media, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 3 – Globalization takes the rap, unfairly

Globalization has been only one of the developments that has led to widening inequality and social exclusion. Countries that have globalized have also introduced a raft of neoliberal domestic policies, against which people are reacting.

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Health, Industrial relations, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BOB KINNAIRD. Indian IT professionals on rock bottom 457 wages undermine Turnbull’s ‘innovation’ dream

The Coalition’s cheap labour 457 visa wage policy is destroying jobs for young Australians lured into studying IT courses under the Turnbull government’s high profile ‘Innovation’ push… Indian 457 visa IT workers are being approved at much lower rates than … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Immigration, Industrial relations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

DAVID PEETZ. The battle over the Building and Construction Commission isn’t finished yet

Now that the ABCC will mostly be a mere shadow of its former self, the Building Code becomes an even more important point of distinction. … It is the identity and ideology of the Director of the ABCC that matters … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull will do anything to secure an outcome.

Malcolm Turnbull’s experience in negotiation has been in the boardroom of Goldman Sachs, but the atmosphere of the Senate crossbench is more akin to that of the Istanbul Souk. 

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IAN McAULEY. Holden cars, AWA TVs, Chesty Bonds underwear: Manufacturing and globalisation

Ian McAuley argues that it has not been globalisation and trade that has been the biggest factor displacing jobs in manufacturing. It has been automation.

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TIM HARCOURT. Trump, Trade and jobs

Australia needs to remember that embracing open markets can only be done with well developed market institutions and social safety nets. Whether you love or loathe the President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump can get an economic policy issue … Continue reading

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DAVID PEETZ. An industrial relations furphy.

The media excitement surrounding the theatrics of former Senator Bob Day and current Senator Rod Culleton seemed to obscure the real issues facing the federal government’s industrial relations legislation. The government failed to put bills re-establishing the Australian Building and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Donald Trump – a false prophet and implications for Australia.

  Trump prides himself in being a change-agent, but he really wants to restore the past and protect privilege. He will also do a great deal of social damage. Analysis of the US election tells us that many American ‘working … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Health, Industrial relations, Infrastructure, Multi-Culturalism, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Our Working Holiday Programs have lost their way.

  I have been an advocate of Working Holiday Programs (WHPs) for over 40 years. These programs were an excellent opportunity to ‘foster closer ties and cultural exchanges between Australia and partner countries with particular emphasis on young adults.’. The … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

NATALIA NIKOLOVA, ROBYN JOHNS, WALTER JARVIS. We need to change more than pay for executives to do better.

  The pay of executives of a company, whether in salary, bonuses or other types of remuneration, is usually justified as an incentive to improve the financial performance of a company. This has led to ever more complex performance packages … Continue reading

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JULIE WALKER. Australia should compare CEO and average worker pay like the US and UK.

  Australia should follow the lead of the United States in requiring public companies to disclose how much their CEO makes each year directly compared to an “average” rank and file employee. Ballooning executive pay contributes to income inequality and … Continue reading

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BOB KINNAIRD. The Coalition’s Backpacker tax and work rights package

  The Coalition’s backpacker policy announcement yesterday focussed on tax rates but also includes a significant expansion of work rights under Australia’s working holiday maker program (WHM or 417 and 462 visas). …. The Coalition’s main aim is to provide … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Faster economic growth demands better chief executives’.

  There was a revealing heading in a recent article by Ross Gittins, the economics editor of the SMH, ‘Faster growth demands better chief executives’. He concluded his article by pointing to the need for business leadership to seize the … Continue reading

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MARIE SEGRAVE. Exploitation of foreign workers.

  On Tuesday night, SBS’ Insight program aired concerns about temporary migrant labour exploitation. These issues tend to come to national attention when a particular case is exposed, but mostly they are not seen as national priorities – and, as … Continue reading

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CHRISTINE DUFFIELD & MARY CHIARELLA. The predicted nursing shortage: strategies and solutions

  The nursing workforce The nursing workforce comprises 3 regulated groups: Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Registered Nurses (RNs) and Enrolled Nurses (ENs). Nurses recognise that other unregulated groups of healthcare workers (for example Assistants in Nursing (AINs)) perform nursing care, and … Continue reading

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DAVID PEETZ. The penalty rates time-bomb is ticking.

A looming decision on weekend penalty rates presents problems for both major parties in the lead-up to Australia’s federal election. The Fair Work Commission seems likely to hand down its decision in the controversial case soon after the federal election. … Continue reading

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BOB KINNAIRD. Like earlier Free Trade Agreements, the new FTA with Singapore continues to waive labour market testing which has been designed to protect Australian workers and students.

Prime Minister Turnbull announced the Australia-Singapore ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ (CSP) on 6 May last, just a few days before he called the 2 July election. Cynics will suspect the timing and also see the Singapore announcement as something of a … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The 2016-17 Budget. Part 1 of 2.

The Turnbull Government’s Budget for 2016-17 reflects an essentially ‘steady as she goes’ fiscal strategy. Not that that is a fault – indeed it can be a virtue, especially when matched against the give-aways in other previous pre-election budgets. Furthermore, … Continue reading

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David Peetz. Having a say at work.

There’s a phrase you sometimes hear about the workplace: “leave your brains at the gate”. Workers use it to summarise the dismissive view their bosses have about the contribution employees can make – and about how much say workers have … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Royal commissions – partisan politics or public interest.

Australia has had a string of politically inspired and often useless royal commissions. The fiasco surrounding Dyson Heydon’s acceptance of an invitation to speak at a Liberal Party dinner made it even more likely that his enquiry into trade unions … Continue reading

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Victoria Rollison. The WorkChoices Zombie

Let’s put aside the irony of a Liberal government, the preacher of the ills of ‘big government’, spending $45 million to reach its expensive Royal Commission tentacles into the operation of trade unions. Let’s put aside the obvious political nature … Continue reading

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