United Voice members appeared before the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee recently to speak about the impact of the latest changes to industrial relations legislation, the sixth amendment since Campbell Newman became Premier.
The union believe the latest bill is nothing more than a resurrection of ‘WorkChoices’ despite the fact Tony Abbott said it was “dead, buried and cremated”. For this reason members brought an urn to the hearing to reinforce the message that clearly the LNP Government want to bring back WorkChoices, albeit by a different name. Michael Freeman, an ambulance officer said the introduction of this legislation will remove vital elements of collective bargaining which concern ambulance officers. He said “If important fatigue management and rostering provisions are removed from agreements we feel it will only be a matter of time before this will lead to injury or even death of an officer, patient or member of the public.”
Barbara Turomsza is a school cleaner and told the committee that her concerns regarding this latest bill are primarily about the removal of the workload management provisions and job security. She said “School cleaners are vital in keeping schools and kids healthy and safe. Without thorough cleaning, our schools are the perfect breeding ground for germs and disease.” Ms Turomsza also pointed out the importance of job security. She told the committee “The uncertainty around whether our job may be outsourced is very stressful. It puts pressure on our families, especially our budgets. The threat that you may lose your job at any given time makes you second guess purchasing goods such as a washing machine or refrigerator or getting a loan to buy a car. At the back of your mind you are concerned about being able to pay that debt.”