Geelong Library and Heritage Centre workers walked off the job on July 2 as part of a rolling campaign of protected industrial action for better pay and conditions. Adele Welsh and Sue Bull report.
Australian Services Union (ASU)
Contracted by Centrelink, Serco has sacked hundreds of call centre operators in Melbourne, reports Jim McIlroy.
Hundreds of public servants rallied outside Queensland's parliament on October 30 as part of a week-long industrial campaign. The rally was organised by Together Union (a branch of the Australian Services Union), also known as the "Purple Army".
The workers are facing enterprise bargaining negotiations in which the state government is refusing to offer any pay rise. The government argues that since workers have had a wage rise due to a rise in the award, they do not need to offer any rise in the enterprise agreement. The agreement will last for the next three years.
Chanting “Fund the gap or we’ll be back,” more than 200 health workers protested outside Victorian health minister Martin Foley’s office on August 16 to demand the Labor state government restore funding to community mental health services. Services have been severely affected by the state government’s decision to cut $75 million from mental health funding.
Communist and feminist Zelda D’Aprano became the symbol of the fight for equal pay when, in October 1969, she chained herself to the Commonwealth Offices in Melbourne, after becoming frustrated at the lack of pay equity for women.
D’Aprano was employed by the meatworkers union, which was involved in a test case on the gender pay gap in the meat industry before the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. At the time, women’s participation in the workforce was 38% and they were paid 75% of men’s wages for doing the same work.
Council workers at the City of Melbourne went on strike for two hours from 3.30 pm on September 27 and rallied outside Melbourne Town Hall. The rally was followed by a protest march along Swanson Street from Bourke to Flinders streets.
The workers are demanding a new agreement with better pay and conditions. City of Melbourne is the richest capital city in Australia.