Catholic Social Services Australia has joined its voice with the St Vincent de Paul Society, Anglicare and the Australian Council of Trade Unions in opposing proposed changes to the Fair Work Act.
CSSA chief executive officer Ursula Stephens, Vinnies chief executive Toby oConnor, Anglicare’s Kasy Chambers and Michele O’Neil from the ACTU have spent time at Parliament this week outlining their concerns about changes to the Fair Work Act currently being considered.
Dr Stephens said despite the bill to amend the Fair Work Act being subtitled “Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery”, it rests on an assumption that Australia’s economic recovery requires a further degradation of the rights and incomes of working people.
“The view that people who have been left without work due to the impact of the pandemic will be desperate enough to accept a job with lower rates of pay and greater insecurity of income than they had before clearly underpins the proposed amendments to the Fair Work Act contained in the bill,” she said.
“At the heart of the bill are proposed changes to the operation and regulation of enterprise bargaining, as well as proposals for further entrenching casualisation and insecure work into our economy.”
Ms O’Neil said the legislation would see life become harder for millions of workers and prolong what is a very difficult period of many.
Mr oConnor expressed specific concerns about the impact of the pandemic and job insecurity among younger workers, who suffered much worse job losses in the initial months of the pandemic.