In big news, as this hits your inbox, Professionals Australia, Translators and Interpreters Australia and Game Workers Australia members are touching down in Canberra to represent the issues that matter to our industries ahead of the next round of Secure Jobs, Better Pay IR reform.
Over the coming days, your representatives, Mitch, Maddie, Maize, Nikki and Amanda, will meet with MPs to discuss better pay, job security, equality and union representation in workplaces.
This opportunity to share real stories directly with lawmakers will help to shape the upcoming second round of Secure Jobs legislation and benefit workers across your industries.
Follow our social media and SJBP Live Blog for updates straight from members at Parliament House!
Updates from Parliament House
Tues 1:00pm - Mitch meets with Senator Fatima Payman
Mitch: I spoke to Senator Payman who seems like the real deal and listened to our stories with genuine interest!
Tues 2:00pm - Catching up with Michele
PA Organisers Nikki and Adrian take 5 to chat with Michele O'Neil, ACTU President about the specific issues facing PA members.
Tues 3:00PM - Meeting Bill Shorten
Maize joined other union delegates in a meeting with Bill Shorten, Minister for Government Services and the NDIS.
Tues 4:00PM - Chatting to Fiona Phillips
Maddie joined other union delegates in a meeting with Fiona Phillips, thanking her for supporting the first round of IR reforms in 2022 that have had significant positive impacts on workers around the country.
Tues 12:00pm - Quick regroup!
Delegates come together to discuss the morning. Lots of great conversations going on around fair pay for fair work.
Australia needs a payrise!
Tues 10:00am - Obligatory ACT presser!
Check out our very own Maize, front and centre with Sally McManus, Michele O'Neil and delegates from unions across the country!
Tues 9:30am -Delegates address by Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary
Tues 9:00am - Delegates meet at Parliment House
Braving the famous (or infamous) ACT winds, our delegates convene at PH for a day of MP meetings!
Meet Your Delegates
Mitch is a 34-year-old producer from Sydney and Game Workers Australia member.
Mitch is advocating for stronger delegates rights because of the hostility and ignorance of some employers in relation to workers rights.
He is concerned about wage theft in the gaming industry, primarily through lack of time-sheets, non-payment of overtime, and exploitation of young enthusiastic workers who think they will eventually reap the rewards of burning themselves out.
Mitch sees talented workers burning out and leaving, or moving overseas to chase higher paid jobs and better conditions.
Maize is a 30-year-old Audio Director who is an active member of the Game Workers Australia branch of Professionals Australia.
Maize has been in game development for 10 years and works as a contractor for three different employers each week.
As a contractor Maize negotiates their own rate, but game development is low-paid compared to general technology jobs.
Contractors are routinely pressured by employers into casual employment while refusing to acknowledge the relevant award.
Maize says their industry is rife with insecure jobs, layoffs, and harassment not only from within the workplace, but from consumers. This often means people won't stay in the job and move onto other industries, leading to lack of seniors and mentorship opportunities.
Maddie (she/her) is a 26-year-old Software Engineer from Sydney and Professionals Australia member.
Where Maddie works, there’s no enterprise agreement (EBA) which means no delegates rights so all organising efforts must be done on personal time. This limits workers’ ability to organise and increase membership as many employees simply do not have free time for union activity.
The pay scales are not transparent, which makes it difficult for individuals to get the data to know if they're being compensated fairly. There is currently no information available on the gender pay gap in Maddies workplace. There is no scope for negotiating one's own compensation during annual compensation adjustment meetings.
In Maddie's industry, it is common for employers to lock people out of all systems either immediately or very shortly after redundancies are announced, limiting opportunities for handover and for finding internal mobility opportunities for the impacted employees. There is usually no opportunity for voluntary redundancies before involuntary redundancies are announced.
Niki is a translator, interpreter, union organiser and member of Translators and Interpreters Australia, a branch of Professionals Australia.
The language services sector is ripe with exploitation owing to systemic casualization and contracting arrangements through labour-hire companies.
The majority of work for translators and interpreters comes directly from government – through courts and hospitals – however, over a decade ago, the work was outsourced and conditions began eroding.
This has resulted in
Translators and Interpreters are told by their labour-hire employers that they have flexibility and power in being self-employed. The reality is that they are the original gig-workers, struggling with insecure work, sham contracts, year-on-year pay cuts and lack of regulation.