workers

“My life is mortgaged to the university”

Summer/Autumn 1994

Wendy Harper is a 22-year-old working class student from The Basin, who is studying first year humanities at Latrobe University. “One of the impacts of the education cuts is day students being forced to take classes in the evening, because the University is no longer prepared to fund both a day and evening class. Full-time… Read more »

The Co-option Game: Enterprise Bargaining to Extend Bosses’ Plunder

Summer/Autumn 1994

The Federal ALP introduced enterprise bargaining in 1991 to replace the pre-existing centralised “wage fixing” system. No longer do workers get regular wage adjustments. Instead, the only way of getting so-called wage “increases” is by “bargaining” with the boss. With the deck stacked against us.

Government Guts Equal Opportunity Law

Summer/Autumn 1994

Moira Rayner, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in Victoria, thought her job was to let oppressed groups know about the Commission and encourage them to make complaints when they face discrimination. She had obviously been doing it well. But it seems the biggest perpetrator of discrimination is the state government. The slash-and-burn policies of the Kennett… Read more »

“My work life became unbearable!”

Summer/Autumn 1994

In 1982 Karen Sellenger began teaching humanities in a technical school. She taught full-time in Melbourne’s northern suburbs until she took a “voluntary” redundancy package (VDP) in April 1993. I spoke to Karen, who is now unemployed, about how voluntary this was. “The school went through a ‘reorganisation.’ After the amalgamation, the new school was… Read more »

“You have to be very assertive to get assistance!”

Summer/Autumn 1994

Nasrin Aidvandi, who was born in Iran, is studying Computing Information Technology at the Monash University, Caulfield Campus. “Although I intend to study full-time this year, I may find that, as a parent of a young child, I’m forced to drop some subjects. Tutorial times are allocated on a first-in basis. The most popular time… Read more »

“Job Satisfaction, It’s A Joke!”

Summer/Autumn 1994

Paula Pope is a sole parent who works as a sessional teacher. She teaches in the Associate Diploma of Community Development at Broadmeadows TAFE. “I get paid $23 per hour, but only for the time I spend in front of the class. I don’t get paid for preparation, or for administrative work or assessment. I… Read more »

WorkCover Uncovered: Adding Poverty to Injury

Winter/Spring 1993

WorkCover terrorises injured workers. The Kennett government’s WorkCover legislation strips away any lingering illusions about how far capitalism will go to secure profit by sacrificing the workers who produce it.

Filling the Glass of Struggle

Summer 1992/1993

Much has been said already about the record 6% swing against the Australian Labor Party in the October 3 Victorian state elections, resulting in the election of Kennett and his band of small business barbarians. There is no doubt that working people in Victoria are faced with an onslaught, the like of which we haven’t… Read more »

Workers Demand More, Not Less

Summer/Autumn 1992

The connection between workers and users of public and community sector services is a natural alliance. The demands of the More, Not Less campaign, adopted at its public meeting in August 1991, reflects the diversity of support and the unity of our struggles.

‘Equal Opportunity’ in 1988 – A Balance Sheet

Summer 1988/1989

The limitations of seeking employment equality within the existing structures are clear. Equal opportunity programs only provide the option for some to get nearer to the top of an unequal system. We need to defend and extend such reforms by using them as tools to protect existing rights and gains. But reforms cannot finally redress the inequitable position of women and other oppressed groups in the labour market, let alone society as a whole.