Big business has been lobbying to introduce “cut-rate casuals” to the community and disability sector. This week – we have been successful in protecting job security across the community and disability sectors.
Cut-rate casuals would have no minimum or guaranteed hours of work, no regular roster, no right to say ‘no’ to shifts and be paid a 10% loading instead of 25%.
Australian Business Industrial (ABI), a group set up to represent employers, asked the Fair Work Commission to make the new type of employment, that they called ‘Flexible Ongoing Employment’.
It is simply cheaper casual work – with less job security.
Across Australia, there are 2 million casuals who do not get annual leave or sick pay. We need more secure jobs, not less. There are too many insecure jobs in Australia already. Right across our industry the number of casuals, underemployed part-time workers, people on rolling fixed term-contracts, labour-hire workers and ABN jobs are increasing.
ASU members united and pushed back against this proposal. Finally, ABI withdrew their formal request for cut-rate casuals in the Fair Work Commission. This is fantastic news for ASU members, and for workers across Australia.
ASU members supported the launch of the Per Capita Report which showed that big business was opportunistically attempting to “reduce fixed-wage costs and shift business risk on to employees by further casualising the workforce”.
We spoke to the media and lobbied members of parliament.
We took our campaign to workplaces and won the support of the sector. People with Disability Australia supported the ASU’s call for secure jobs in the sector because low pay and insecure work would lower the level of skills and commitment in the already strained workforce.
When disability and community service workers have less job security, the people we support suffer.