• #FixCentrelinkNow - It's Time
    Fixing the mess that is Centrelink will improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society, giving them the best leg-up to start and in many cases, rebuild, their lives. It’s time to: SCRAP THE CENTRELINK AUTOMATED SYSTEM The automated system is flawed. The system is a debt recovery scheme that cross-references employment data through the ATO and Centrelink, which has created large room for error and is falsely attributing debt to vulnerable Australians. Although Labor has called for a national audit of the system, we believe enough is enough and it needs to be scrapped. The recovery of legitimate debt is important and should be done by paid staff at the Department of Human Services, not a machine! Links to relevant articles: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/students-accused-of-welfare-fraud-say-centrelink-is-wrong/8127550 http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/centrelink-faces-sustained-criticism-over-its-new-automated-debt-recovery-system-20170102-gtkpq8.html STOP THE CENTRELINK PAY DELAYS In 2016 it was reported that up to 90,000 new applicants were left waiting months for income support, resulting in many being unable to afford necessities like rent and food. Centrelink is designed to be a safety-net, and leaving thousands with support at the start of the year needs to end. According to data collected by our Student Wellbeing Survey, run in 2016, 32% of students on Centrelink have experienced delayed payments, forcing them to borrow money from family, friends and in some cases, take out loans to make ends meet. Last year, when the delays were reported in the media, it was also reported that this had gone on for several years due to a lack of staff at the Department of Human Services, enough is enough! Links to relevant articles: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/students-waiting-four-months-centrelink-payments-delayed/7346960 http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/centrelink-backlog-to-be-solved-in-two-weeks/7360760 LOWER THE CENTRELINK AGE OF INDEPENDENCE TO 18 The Centrelink Age of Independence for Youth Allowance sits at 22, making income support inaccessible to the majority of university students, particularly those starting their degrees who may have moved out of home to attend university. According to data collected by the 2016 Student Wellbeing Survey, 62% of respondents were unable to receive financial assistance from Centrelink due to the Age of Independence being set at 22. Regardless of living out of home, many students are still assessed on the basis of their parent’s income because they are under the age of 22. Young people who decide to attend university do so in the hope of educating themselves for future careers, they are the future of this country and deserve to be financially supported regardless of their age! DITCH CASHLESS WELFARE CARDS Cash welfare cards are not a new policy from the Federal Government, they have been used for years to police the spending of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on income support. The scheme is already in use, acting as a form of compulsory income management that is policing the expenditure of those in receipt of Centrelink, blocking them from spending their payments at particular stores. If introduced for students, cashless welfare cards will not effectively stop addiction to alcohol, drugs and gambling, but will instead police the behaviours of vulnerable people! Links to relevant articles: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-alan-tudge-flag-national-rollout-of-cashless-welfare-card-met-by-protests-at-cashless-debit-card-trial-20161030-gsdytb.html https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/09/ration-days-again-cashless-welfare-card-ignites-shame STOP CALL CHARGES AND IMPROVE CALL WAITING TIMES Due to funding cuts to the Department of Human Services, call-waiting times are longer than ever, which only exacerbates call charges as calls to Centrelink are charged at timed rates. According to data collected by the Student Wellbeing Survey, run in 2016, 57% of students in receipt of Centrelink have been left waiting on the phone for excessively long periods of time. Students trying to do the right thing by reporting changes in their circumstances or seeking assistance are being priced out of chasing up Centrelink and are left to the whims of an automated system! Links to relevant articles: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/centrelink-call-waiting-racks-up-costs-for-poor/news-story/e0a01674c64da6dc605c58d45a139005 AND ALLOW MORE DISCRETION IN CENTRELINK POLICIES For many students on income support, the policies Centrelink is governed by often make their lives much more difficult if something goes wrong. If there is a personal or medical situation and a student needs to shift from full-time to part-time study, their payments can be lowered and in many cases cut entirely. This lack of flexibility can exacerbate an already difficult situation, putting further unnecessary pressure on individuals. We must not criminalise unemployment or mental health and the lack of flexibility with Centrelink does just that! - If you believe it’s time to #FixCentrelinkNow, sign our petition to demand the Australian Government reform the system that is putting already vulnerable Australians into more unstable times and condemn Social Services Minister Christian Porter for attacking our lowest income earners whilst the Federal Government allows corporate giants go tax free! Contact: NUS National Welfare Officer, Jill Molloy Email: [email protected] Phone: 0423 507 010
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    Created by National Union of Students (Australia) Picture
  • Don't steal our voices.
    At the last federal election, I handed out how to vote cards in the seat of La Trobe, asking voters to consider putting the Liberals last because I was deeply concerned about workers rights and Medicare and the impact it was having on my community. It was just a small way I could do my bit to take part in our democracy, before grabbing a sausage and voting myself. That’s why I was shocked to read in today’s Herald Sun that the Turnbull government is looking at banning people like me from campaigning about (what I care about) on election day. I’m not a member of a political party, and I don’t have millions of dollars to spend on TV ads like Malcolm Turnbull and his friends, but I have a right to be heard just as much as you or anyone else. You might not be interested in handing our flyers yourself - you might even find the whole voting process a pain the bum - but you’d have to agree that we’re heading into dangerous territory when the politicians decide to start restricting our democratic right to be heard. Please, sign my petition and make sure the government can’t mess with democracy by stealing our voices on election day.
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    Created by Jack Wind Picture
  • Australia wants Fair Food!
    Workers on farms across Australia are currently forced to work long hours, often 14 or 16 hours and even up to 22 hours a day. Many are paid cash payments; as low as $4 and commonly $12 or $14 an hour, while the minimum wage is $21.61. These workers pick and pack the fresh fruit and vegetables that we buy at the supermarket. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NjOjNAShnQ Many producers use dodgy labour hire contractors to try and cut costs. These labour hire contractors routinely steal workers wages, provide them with substandard accommodation for exorbitant fees, and seek sexual and monetary favours for visas or preferential treatment. Workers who speak up are ignored, silenced or have their employment terminated. All this is happening while the Big Supermarkets engage in 'price wars' during the ad breaks we watch on TV. As a duopoly, Coles and Woolworths have incredible buying power. Competition among producers to supply the supermarkets is immense. Coles and Woolworths exploit their market position to demand that producers supply products at lower and lower cost. Coles and Woolworths claim their Ethical Sourcing Code of Conduct ensures that fresh food products are ethically produced. The reality facing workers on these farms proves that this is not true. When producers are confronted with the choice between complying with codes or losing a supply contract with a Big Supermarket, they choose to cut corners. Even after extreme exploitation and slave-like conditions were exposed on Four Corners in May 2015, workers are still fighting for justice on many farms around Australia. Without workers being able to actively participate in their union and speak up about conditions on farms, codes of conduct will never work. Workers who produce our fresh food are putting out a call to clean up the supply chain, a call for a Fair Food Agreement to immediately outline standard conditions and rights that workers can collectively enact.
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  • Protect the Eureka flag!
    The right-wing fringe group, the Australia First Party, want to use the Eureka flag as their political party logo. We can't let this happen. The Eureka flag has been used as a symbol of the trade union movement since the 19th century. It flies at trade union rallies and is permanently raised at union buildings across the country. Working people wear the Eureka symbol on their union shirts and uniform every day. There is an undeniable link between the flag and the Australian trade union movement. The trade union movement is built on the values of fairness and equality for all working people, and we reject racism and intolerance in all its forms. No political party should be allowed to use this flag, particularly one that doesn't represent our values. UPDATE: Despite a tidal wave of objections, the Australian Electoral Commission has ruled that the right-wing, fringe group "Australia First" can use the Eureka Flag. Labor Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, has now tabled legislation in Parliament to officially protect this important flag from use by political parties. Show your support by signing our petition.
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    Created by Australian Workers Union Picture
  • Solar hot water for public housing!
    Support a #justtransition for the Latrobe Valley The Latrobe Valley community has powered Victoria for almost 100 years, and deserves to be supported through the inevitable transition of our energy system. This means new employment opportunities as the inevitable closure of Hazelwood Power Station looms closer. Help avert a manufacturing crisis #supportmanufacturing At the same time, Victoria is facing a manufacturing jobs crisis, especially as the car industry closes over the next two years. Make sure no-one is left behind in the #energytransition It should not just be the rich who are able to benefit from energy efficiency and clean energy technology. #equality. Households who can benefit the most from lower energy bills should be supported to access these options. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions #climatechange The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform our economy so that it is sustainable is growing more pressing every day. The State Government’s own operations make a significant contribution to carbon pollution, and the government can lead by example in reducing emissions from its own buildings. This would also have a long-term benefit for tenants of public housing, whose energy bills would be reduced, giving a tangible boost to their disposable income. Encourage the cooperative economy and more secure work #securework Earthworker is a community initiative established by unionists and environmental activists to help Victorians work their way out of the climate crisis. It is committed to providing decent, secure work in factories owned by workers to manufacture the renewable energy technologies that we so badly need to transform our future. More information can be found at: http://earthworkercooperative.com.au/ In the UK, the Labour Party is pushing for the right for workers to buy out enterprises, and States in the US are legislating to support worker co-ops. The worker cooperative model can be the basis of new jobs and a just transition in places like the Latrobe Valley and Geelong, where old energy-intensive industries are under threat. Earthworker already has all the required factory machinery in a factory site in Morwell, Latrobe Valley. The project has the intellectual property, experience and skills in manufacturing and installing solar hot water systems across Australia, and is in the process of setting up the Morwell factory. With a sizable order of solar hot water systems for public housing, this first cooperative factory could be up and running quickly, with this kick-start, building itself into a long-term and community-sustaining cooperative business – the first of many across Australia. The Victorian government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring local content in Government Projects, and growing employment opportunities in renewable technologies can be achieved in partnerships with organisations like Earthworker
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  • Priority RATs for Tasmanian Transport Workers
    The TWU has received an alarming number of reports from drivers and transport workers who are isolating because they are symptomatic or have identified as close contacts. In addition, we’ve had similar discussions with employers. These essential workers are unable to access PCR testing stations, or test themselves due to shortages of Rapid Antigen Tests. They remain in isolation and symptomatic for up to seven days without access to testing kits. This has resulted in severe driver and labour shortages, and dwindling stock in supermarkets and throughout the supply chain. With the rising infections, and without priority access to Rapid Antigen Tests, this situation will be catastrophic for the industry, associated industries and the public at large.
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    Created by Transport Workers Union (TWU) Vic/Tas Picture
  • Urgent action and support for ECC, educators and parents of under 5 to protect them from COVID
    Children are vulnerable and need to be protected not only with their current health but also future health. COVID is disruptive to ECC and parents and both require financial support. If the government does not provide this support you will see people leave jobs and ECC settings which will have ramifications on tax revenue and impact many small businesses. Women have been disproportionately been impacted in this situation from both the ECC which had a large female demographic to working mothers taking on a disproportionate load when keeping children home in addition to continue working from home for over 2 years.
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    Created by Katherine S
  • Safe Space for PoC at UTS!
    There is a high population of students from a variety of ethnic and migrant backgrounds who deserve a safe space to feel supported and validated in their time on campus. In 2020, UTS had 46,382 students enrolled and of those students, 13,963 were international students, 47% of students spoke languages other than English at home and 48% were born outside of Australia. Experiences of racial discrimination are common among students of colour, however, only 300 complaints have been reported to the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion entirely with an even smaller amount of these complaints being relevant to racial discrimination. The equity complaint sector itself is a relatively new sector with minimal data and offering students a space to explore the options available to them is important. The introduction of a safe space for the Ethnocultural Collective would allow students of colour the chance and space to discuss, dissect and reflect on their experiences by connecting with other students who face similar barriers and difficulties. This would also allow space for students of colour to raise awareness among students and pointing them towards processes of resolve in the face of discrimination and utilise the complaint system that is currently existent, but not particularly accessible. Urging the need for an allocated room and therefore Ethnocultural safe space, is the University Senior Executives’ plans for the “phased reactivation” of campus, as quoted in Andrew Parfitt, Provost and Senior Vice-President’s email sent to students on Monday the 11th of October 2021. With the reactivation and reopening of campus, comes the obligation of UTS Senior Executive to fast-track the bureaucratic process, and align the Ethnocultural safe space’s establishment with the return of students to campus. An Ethnocultural safe space would improve the campus experience for students of colour by firstly cultivating an active, ‘sticky campus’; but also filling the gaps that the university’s formal complaints processes aren’t able to address for students of Colour. Ultimately, a safe space would give students an outlet to express frustrations and anxieties of systemic and interpersonal racism, resulting in improved student wellbeing.
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    Created by UTS Ethnocultural Collective Picture
  • COUNTRY ROAD WORKERS ARE FIGHTING FOR FAIR PAY AND JOB SECURITY!
    Workers deserve fair wages and conditions are working throughout the pandemic.
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    Created by United Workers Union Picture
  • PAID LEAVE FOR COVID AFFECTED WORKERS
    The governemnt has given relief packages and tax benefits to businesses to tide over this crisis period. Free food grains are distributed through public distribution systems and a small relief was given to people under poverty line in direct benefit transfer. But what about the workers? The workers in urban areas have no money to pay the rent or school fees for their children. Paid leave for COVID 19 affected workers will ensure that their families do not go hungry during the breadwinners illness. It is important to have proper nourishing food to recover from COVID 19. If the wages during the COVID 19 illness are not paid then not only the worker but his/her family members will be victims of the pandemic. It is to ensure food on the plates for the family that we demand Paid Leave for COVID 19 Affected Workers.
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    Created by Anjali Bedekar
  • Stop One voice printing hate speech
    Your focus is a barrier to fair education and evidence based information. You promote the dumbing down of any broad opinion and evidenced information with your cheap headlines and nonsense content articles. The Clayton's ‘ I love Victoria ‘ opinions space is just deliberately dumb hate speech opportunities. It’s cheap and an ignorant deliberate poor focus. Is it anarchy you want? Do you want to trump Trump at being irresponsible mob inciters.
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    Created by Mary Ebbott
  • Testa
    It's really important
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    Created by Anthony Smith