1996sept.doc - ACTU by shuifanglj




  3-5 SEPTEMBER, 1996
D. 61/1996   SEPTEMBER 1996
                                     ACTU COUNCIL DECISIONS
                                       3-5 SEPTEMBER, 1996

                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS


AUGUST 19 RALLY .............................................................................. 1
ADDRESS BY BOB ADAMSON - AMWU................................................ 2
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS LEGISLATION ........................................ 2-3
PUBLIC SECTOR CUT BACKS .......................................................... 3-4
LIN .................................................................................................. 4-5
ACTU OFFICE ACCOMODATION ......................................................... 5
REGIONAL RECRUITMENT ............................................................. 5-6
EDUCATION AND THE LIVING WAGE ............................................. 6-7
CONTRACTING OUT ....................................................................... 7-9
TUTA ............................................................................................. 9-10
ORGANISING WORKS........................................................................ 10
PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION ................................................... 10-12
COMMENDATION - G. CAMPBELL ..................................................... 12
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ............................................ 13
BRIAN FRASER MEMORIAL CAMPAIGN ........................................... 13
VOCATIONAL TRAINING ............................................................ 13-15
WORKERS COMPENSATION .............................................................. 16
ACTION RESOLUTION ................................................................ 16-20
              Decisions of ACTU Council Meeting


                      3-5 September, 1996


Note: This publication provides information relating to decisions
      of the September 1996 Council meeting. It should be noted
      that in a number of decisions affiliates and/or State
      Branches are asked to take appropriate action: in such
      instances the affiliates and/or State Branches are being
      approached directly by the ACTU administration.

The ACTU Council congratulates all those trade unionists and community
supporters, well over 50,000, who rallied and protested in Canberra and
many other cities on August 19th 1996 against the Howard Government’s
proposed industrial relations changes.

The ACTU thanks the broad range of community groups (including ACOSS,
FECCA, Women’s organisations, youth groups and churches) for standing with
the ACTU in opposition to the proposed legislation.

The success of the mobilisation of tens of thousands of people on that day
was overshadowed by the actions of a small minority of protesters at the
Canberra rally, who engaged in behaviour not condoned by the union

The ACTU Council condemns, in the strongest terms, the violent actions of a
small minority of protesters at the rally. These acts of violence and
destruction of property are totally abhorrent to the union movement and any
person found to be involved should receive no support or comfort from our

The actions of these people undermined the collective objectives of the union
movement’s campaign against the legislation and caused harm to the
reputation and standing of the union movement.

The Council acknowledges that the organisational arrangements on the day
were in conformity with Federal Police requirements, but clearly inadequate to
handle these unforeseen events. Accordingly, a protocol will be developed
for future rallies and protests as requested by the Australian Federal Police

The ACTU Council regrets what occurred, including injury to police and staff,
but is not responsible for the actions of a small minority of the 30,000
participants at the Canberra rally.

Individuals who act outside the collective framework and damage the
collective standing of the union movement will receive no support or comfort
from the movement.

The ACTU Council believes that all citizens are entitled to the due processes
of law. Should individual union officials or union members be charged and
found guilty of serious offences, the Council is of the firm view that
disciplinary action by the unions is warranted.

While the actions of the tiny minority have undoubtedly done harm to the
collective union movement, the extent of the union and community
opposition displayed that day highlights our determination to continue to
campaign in opposition to the Howard Government’s Industrial Relations
Matters for Information               3                    September, 1996


Council notes the report from Bob Adamson in relation to the successful
operation of the Hunter Valley Labour Council (HVLC). Council congratulates
the HVLC on its endeavours to provide unionists with an alternative to the
profit driven labour hire industry. Council determines to work closely with
the HVLC to assist the Co-operative to expand and provide alternatives to the
established and the peripheral operators in the labour hire industry in as wide
a range of industries as possible.


Council notes with appreciation the position of the non-Government Senators
in the recently concluded Senate Economics References Committee review of
the proposed Workplace Relations Bill.

Whilst the translation of these broad statements of principle into legislative
amendments give us hope that the more unreasonable aspects of this Bill can
be moderated it is important that we recognise that nothing can be taken for

It is likely that the Bill will be debated and then dealt with in the Committee
stages by the Senate within the next two months. All unions need to focus
their campaigning techniques. Specifically all state peak councils should co-
ordinate campaign initiatives such as the following:

·     Seek publicity to illustrate individual injustice or potential injustice
      likely to be a consequence of the proposed Bill.

·     Co-ordinate delegates/activist’s meetings to relay the current status of
      the Bill’s passage/political reception.

·     Organise delegations to non-government Senators.

All affiliates should participate in the above process as well as continuing
other campaigning initiatives they consider would be relevant in the current

This Council congratulates the ALP and Democrat Senators who have
prepared well considered and worker sympathetic reports. We also recognise
and appreciate the support for our concerns already expressed by
Independent Senators Harradine and Colston and the Greens.
Matters for Information               4                   September, 1996


In order for campaigning initiatives to be appropriately focused Council
endorses the list of items that constitute grounds of concern that have not as
yet been adequately addressed.

Council is of the view that this list of areas of concern should not be the
subject of a process of negotiation that may disturb already settled areas
acknowledged as requiring amendments. ACTU Officers are asked to
maintain effective lines of communication with the non-government Senators
particularly to ensure areas already understood to be settled are not
subsequently downgraded and to reinforce the importance of our outstanding

Council congratulates affiliates and state labour councils on their work to
date and urges an increase in those efforts in order to ensure a satisfactory
level of legislative amendments necessary to protect working people’s wages
and conditions of employment.


ACTU Council endorses a campaign against cuts to public spending,
recognising that the Federal Government’s budget and associated policies will
lead to significant job losses, and cuts to programs services and benefits to
the community. The effect of the cuts will be felt right across the Australian
community, not just in the public sector but other sectors also through the
loss of spending on infrastructure, direct assistance (eg through grants).

Council supports a campaign which has the following elements:

1.    ACTU co-ordination of a lobbying campaign to overturn those
      initiatives in the Budget which can be altered, and to reject the
      legislative changes which we oppose (eg the abolition of the CES). To
      enable this work to be done effectively, the ACTU will co-ordinate
      information and analysis of the Budget and arrange meetings of
      affiliates to plan this part of the campaign.

2.    In support of this stage of the campaign and in order to develop an
      ongoing community based campaign, the ACTU will convene a meeting
      of relevant affiliates to develop a co-ordinated strategy of community
      based action. This will be a high level committee which may include
      federal secretaries of unions and will involve dedicated campaign co-
Matters for Information           5                  September, 1996

     ordinators from unions who will work together on the ongoing
     campaign. The committee will discuss strategies which may include:
Matters for Information              6                    September, 1996


      -    targeting a key marginal seat in each State and Territory for
           ongoing action, this will include analysing in detail the effect of
           cuts to the region;

      -    organising public meetings or events in these and other
           appropriate centres;

      -    developing broadbased campaign groups in these centres,
           including local community organisations and individuals;

      -    encouraging the development of a local “charter of government
           responsibilities” to which local MPs would be asked to make a

      -    developing joint campaigning materials, and co-ordinating the
           distribution between unions of materials;

      -    considering using billboards in towns to publicise our issues;

      -    developing the “public sector dollars” campaign for broader use;

      -    developing a “respected persons” network to make public
           comment on these issues;

      -    ensuring local organisations such as TLCs are involved in

      -    organising other local events which are positive and enjoyable
           and publicise our issues.

A report from this committee should be regularly provided to unions and
meetings of ACTU Council and Executive.


1.    That the following LIN databases be continued:

      -    Summary of key words from AIRC decisions;
      -    Sample clauses from enterprise agreements;
      -    Index to relevant journal articles and books or monographs held
           by LIN;
Matters for Information               7                    September, 1996

LIN (Contd.)

     -     List of awards;
     -     List of Federally registered agreements; and
     -     Index to ACTU D No documents.

2.   That the following databases be discontinued:

     -     Training materials database (although relevant training material
           will be included in normal Library index);

     -     Unfair dismissals database (the decisions are available in full text
           on the Internet);

     -     Video collection abstracts (this database will not be deleted but
           no new videos are anticipated).

3.   The ACTU approach the government and the Commission to transfer
     responsibility for the maintenance of a full text awards and decisions
     facility to the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AUSTLII) based at
     the University of Sydney.

4.   The ACTU approach other FATEXT users (employers/law firms) to
     explore support for this approach.

5.   If (3) above is not achieved, LIN undertake to maintain the full text of
     40 key awards and its decisions summary on WorkNet. Affiliates be
     encouraged to load other awards on to WorkNet and maintain these.


That the ACTU discuss and finalise with the VTHC the
arrangements for the ACTU to take space in the Trades Hall


Council notes that consistent with previous ACTU decisions the
following decisions be authorised:
Matters for Information      8              September, 1996

*    The establishment of the WEIPA Workers Council and the
     funding by the ACTU of $20,000 to supplement the
     contribution of the participating unions.
Matters for Information            9                  September, 1996


*    The placement of a joint organiser in the Pilbara region.
     The ACTU shall allocate $20,000.

*    The placement of a joint organiser in the Roxby Downs
     region. (The ACTU allocated a further $20,000).

In addition to these developments Council endorse:

     The ACTU-VTHC pilot programs in South West Victoria,
     Ballarat and the Dandenong-Cranbourne Region in
     Victoria. Council authorises $45,000 to be spent over the next

South Australia:
     In addition to the Roxby Downs proposal the development of
     South Eastern SA Region (Mt Gambier) be considered as a
     pilot project subject to discussion with Unions and UTLC of SA.

    The ACTU confer further with the QTLC and AWU regarding
    the development of 2 pilot programs.

New South Wales:
     The ACTU should have discussions with the Labor Council of
     NSW.   The Northern Rivers and the Hunter Valley are
     suggested priorities.

    A meeting be held in Tasmania to consider the priorities for
    regional union organisation.


1.   That the rising impact of education costs upon working people due to
     changes to the funding of early childhood education, schools, and
Matters for Information            10                   September, 1996

     post-secondary and tertiary institutions should be included in the
     calculations of the cost of living for the purposes of the Living Wage

     These include:

     *     public and non-government pre-school and school charges and
Matters for Information               11                 September, 1996


      *     childcare costs;

      *     cuts to Austudy payments for students at school, post-secondary
            and tertiary levels;

      *     fees and charges in post-secondary and tertiary institutions.

2.    That the ACTU Council condemns the Howard-Vanstone-Kemp budget
      changes to education provision which will shift the cost of education
      inequitably to working people and will have the effect of increasing
      privatisation in schools, universities and in vocational education.

      The Council calls on the Senate to oppose these changes to education
      legislation and in particular block increases in the Higher Education
      Contribution Scheme which include lowering the repayment income
      threshold, fees for undergraduate courses and the rise in the age of
      independence for Austudy eligibility to 25 years, and residential
      requirements for Austudy affecting migrants.

3.    The ACTU Council determines to form an Education Working Group to
      have an input on these issues to the Living Wage Claim and to integrate
      education cost increases into submissions. The Group’s activity is to
      be linked to the ACTU’s community-based action campaign against
      cuts to public spending.

      The Working Group will report proposals to the ACTU Executive and will
      be drawn from a range of affiliates including the CFMEU, FSU, AMWU,
      CPSU, LHMU, IEU, AEU, NTEU and other interested unions.


In view of the dramatic expansion of contracting as a means of deregulating
large sections of the workforce Australia now has the position of:

*     having the fastest rate of growth of self-employment persons in the
      OECD countries;

*     a diminishing PAYE tax base as large numbers of workers are no longer
      classified as employees;

this ACTU Council meeting resolves:
Matters for Information             12                   September, 1996


1.   That in respect of contracting out techniques that are being used on a
     widespread basis we determine to develop a Comprehensive Policy and
     Strategy which should involve

     a)    a research and information gathering process;
     b)    the examination of a Test Case or other legal responses;
     c)    that a set of general objectives and principles be developed that

           i)     preventative measures (benchmarking etc);
           ii)    demand the right to be involved at all stages of the
                  contracting out process;
           iii)   job security measures be developed;
           iv)    that we demand the employment standards applying to
                  the work be maintained;
           v)     that enforcement of standards in contracted out work
                  situations be given priority;
           vi)    other measures.

     In order that work be expedited on a Comprehensive Policy and
     Strategy an urgent meeting under the auspices of the ACTU be
     convened with a view to an appropriate working party being
     established to take this process forward.

2.   That in relation to the major threat of the expansion of independent
     contractors that we given priority to addressing four particular aspects
     of the problem. These are:

     i)    Unfair contracts provision

           We continue to work to deliver the best possible outcome in
           either the Industrial Relations Act or the Trade Practices Act. We
           specifically endorse the approach of picking up in the Federal
           legislation the “harsh and unconscionable contracts” provisions
           of the NSW legislation.

     ii)   Regulating the rates and conditions of independent contractors.

           In order to advance this we need to address the problem in the
           Trade Practices Act which may suggest that this kind of
           regulation represents collusive conduct or price fixing. In
           particular, we work
Matters for Information                13                    September, 1996


              to exclude “contracts for labour only or substantially labour only”
              to be included in the Trade Practices Act from any connotation
              of price-fixing.

              In order to advance this we need to work with the ALP and
              Democrats to seek to give effect to an amendment that the
              ALP has developed to the Workplace Relations Bill.

       iii)   Social and community implications of massive tax

              That the trade union movement needs to highlight this
              aspect of the growth of independent contracting. That
              in doing so we handle the matter in a careful way such
              that we are not portrayed as tax collectors hounding

              That we seek to discuss the implications of this with ACOSS and
              other community groups.

       iv)    Union strategy for tackling bogus sub-contracting.

              That in working up our strategy in this area that we recognise it
              is a wide-ranging issue with different methods and techniques
              suitable for different industries. We must also place our
              emphasis on targeting the employers who perpetrate these rorts,
              not the workers who are usually given little choice i.e. we
              shouldn’t be punishing workers who find themselves caught in
              this net.

              That in order to further develop these issues that an urgent
              meeting of ACTU affiliates be convened.


That representation on Executive Committee of Management of
'new TUTA' be:

    ACTU                 AMWU             LHMU
Matters for Information      14               September, 1996

    NUW            ASU         SDA
    AEU/IEU        CEPU        FSU

That academic and employer representatives (broadly consistent
with the old TUTA Board) be appointed to the Committee of
Matters for Information         15                 September, 1996

TUTA (Contd.)

That the following officers of the new association be appointed
under the rules

     Chairperson                  Michael O'Sullivan
     Deputy Chairperson       (to be determined)
     Executive Officer/Secretary Michael Crosby

That   the Trade Union Education Foundation be formally
launched by establishing the Whitlam Lectures on 8th February
1997 (30th Anniversary of Whitlam's election as leader of the
parliamentary Labor party).

That the ACTU run a test case to transfer trade union training
leave course approval requirements in awards from the Trade
Union Training Authority to 'new TUTA'.


That the 1997 Intake of Organising Works trainees be scheduled
for March 1997.

That affiliated unions be asked to advise the number of trainees
sought prior to the December Executive.

That the Organising Works program for 1997 operate in 2-3 states
and depending on the number of trainees sought by affiliates and
that in 1998 the program operate in the alternate states.

That in states where the Organising Works program is not
scheduled to operate in 1997, outplaced trainees be available
provided that participating affiliates fund travel to block training
on at least six occasions.

Matters for Information         16                 September, 1996

ACTU Council notes the significant contributions made by
affiliates to the process of microeconomic reform and the improved
productive performance of the Australian economy.

Council determines that it is important that all affiliates continue
to participate in their industry sectors and at the enterprise level
in a positive and equitable process of micro economic reform.
Matters for Information         17                September, 1996


ACTU Council is of the view that the Productivity Commission has
demonstrated that it has no credibility to undertake a balanced
and independent enquiry into the Automotive Industry or other
significant areas of the Australian economy.

The report “Stocktake of Progress in Microeconomic Reform” has
prejudiced the Productivity Commission, by exposing the
Commission’s preconceived conclusions on a range of social,
political and economic issues of fundamental importance to all

Council rejects the Commission’s assessment found in the report
“Stocktake of Progress in Microeconomic Reform” that :

     “Enactment of key elements of the Workplace Relations Bill
     would be a significant advance in the evolution of an
     efficient regulatory framework to better facilitate agreements
     between employees and employers on wages, conditions and
     work practices.”

The bias of the Commission is further exposed by the fact that in
contrast to approximately 14 pages of comment and assessment on
Industrial Relations the issue of management skills receives four
paragraphs inclusive of comment and assessment. This is a serious
omission and demonstrates a lack of technical analysis from the

Council notes that the Productivity Commission advocates a “wide
scope for reform” in the following sectors:

-    Labour markets and industrial relations
-    Competition Policy
-    Economic infrastructure
-    Education, health and community services
-    Taxation
-    Trade & industry assistance
Matters for Information       18                September, 1996

-   Resources and the environment
-   Regulatory reform
-   Performance of governments

Council is of the view that the Productivity Commission with its
predetermined views based on the ascendancy of neo classical
economic theory over social and equity imperatives can and will
be used as a political tool of the Howard Government.
Matters for Information          19                 September, 1996


Council endorses the decision of the AMWU to boycott the
Productivity Commission inquiry into the vehicle and component
sector and calls on all affiliates to determine whether to boycott or
participate in such an enquiry on a case by case basis recognising
that the Productivity Commission has predetermined views
regardless of union input.

Council therefore determines to establish a sub committee to
examine in detail the ideology, and assessments of the
Productivity Commission in a range of sectors with union

The Committee to prepare a report for the ACTU Executive as a
matter of urgency dealing with but not limited to:

-    Implications of Productivity Commission inquiry into
     various sectors for affiliates

-    Ways to engage with and support union members and
     the various community and interest groups which
     represent those affected by the Productivity Commission
     and the Howard Government.

-    A mechanism to respond to Productivity Commission
     recommendations that includes analysis of the social
     and equity outcomes of the recommendations.

-    The membership, funding and terms of reference of an
     ACTU/Community Organisations committee which will
     develop widespread understanding and opposition to
     unacceptable conclusions and recommendations of
     Productivity Commission enquiries.

-    The mechanisms available to affiliates to conduct and
     prepare alternative reports to the Productivity
     Commission reports and the most appropriate method of
Matters for Information        20               September, 1996

     presenting these reports to the Government, Parliament
     and industry.


That the ACTU Council places on record its appreciation to George
Campbell for his outstanding contribution to the AMWU, ACTU and
trade unionism generally.
Matters for Information         21                September, 1996


That the ACTU Executive/Council:

(a) notes the 1996/97 ACTU OHS workplan;
(b) agrees that OHS is an important issue and should be an
    integral part of union workplans and their organising and
    recruitment strategies; and
(c) agrees that the trade union movement must maintain an
    effective national presence in OHS.


In memory of the late B. Fraser who recently passed away due to
asbestos induced mesothelioma the ACTU Council determines that
the National Chemicals Campaign be renamed the "Brian Fraser
Asbestos Eradication and Chemical Control Campaign".


That the following decision of the Vocational Training Committee
be endorsed:

This meeting of ACTU affiliates involved in vocational training:

[i]   Notes the Federal Government's intentions to introduce
      the Modern Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship
      system with the intention of       further extending
      vocational training opportunities to school leavers and
      existing workers.

      The intention of the MAATS system essentially carries on
      the aims for the application of the AVTS to most school
      leavers and the existing workforce over the next few
Matters for Information        22                September, 1996

[ii] The ACTU and unions support the broadening of a
     quality vocational training system to a greater range of
     industries, enterprises, occupations and work levels.

     However, the system must be based on:

     -     National competency standards;
     -     Portable skills;
     -     National frameworks of competencies         and
Matters for Information          23                 September, 1996


      -    Union and employer involvement in industry
           bodies leading the training system;
      -    Responsibility for quality and consistency in the
           system to be undertaken by the National
           Training Framework Committee; and
      -    Workable mutual recognition arrangements.

      The ACTU will oppose any attempts to weaken the
      national framework by:

      -    any approval of enterprise standards which are
           inconsistent with endorsed industry standards;
      -    fragmentation of the ITAB network;
      -    any determination of the AQF level by the
           training provider rather than by the endorsed
           standards package.

[iii] The ACTU notes that the objectives of MAATS cannot be
      achieved in an environment where:

      -    funding for standards, curriculum development
           and review may be cut;

      -    assistance to employers to take on apprentices
           and trainees has been substantially cut.

[iv] Proposals to delegate significant areas of responsibility in the
     training system to 'regional bodies' made up essentially of
     employers are of serious concern in terms of the maintenance
     of quality and portable outcomes in the training system.

[v]   The ACTU believes that the achievement of a quality system
      which protects apprentices and trainees requires:

      -    training which meets the national training framework
           (see (ii) above);
Matters for Information       24               September, 1996

    -     preservation of the system of declared trades and
          vocations, but reforming it so that packages based on
          national standards declared in one State are
          automatically declared in all others; and

    -     independent processes for the approval of training
          agreements and their administration.
Matters for Information         25                September, 1996


[vi] The ACTU rejects proposals to set wages for apprentices and
     vocational trainees on the basis of training time being
     regarded as non-productive and unpaid.

     The reduction of wage levels in the vocational training areas
     has the potential to destroy the vocational training system by
     seriously reducing its attractiveness to school leavers. In
     addition the discounting proposal is fundamentally unfair.

     Wages for apprentices and vocational trainees need to be set
     by reference to factors such as competency levels, prevailing
     standards, the need to attract capable young people into
     training and the overall contribution/value of the young
     person to the employer. The simplistic setting of rates by
     discounting training time will lead to low wages and
     exploitation of vocational trainees by employers.

[vii] The ACTU opposes the provisions of the Workplace Relations
      Bill which:

     -     allow AWAs and CAs to bypass State training legislation
           in respect of  the quality of apprenticeships and

     -     allow for cuts in apprentice and trainee wages and

[viii]      The ACTU meeting notes the steps taken by the Federal
      Government and ANTA to marginalise and exclude the union
      movement from involvement in vocational training forums.
      The restructure of the SCC and the current review of ITAB's
      are two examples of these actions. To date the role of
      vocational training has been one of constructive co-
      operation between employers and unions representing
      employees.   The ACTU and unions will actively resist
Matters for Information         26                 September, 1996

     marginalisation and exclusion from the vocational training

[ix] This meeting of affiliates supports the need for a JITEC
     statement and believes that the statement before it will assist
     in protecting the quality of the apprenticeship and
     traineeship scheme.

     However, in endorsing any document it should be clear that
     the ACTU opposes the Workplace Relations Bill as it affects
     apprenticeships and traineeships.
Matters for Information         27                September, 1996


The ACTU Council notes the publication of the HOWCA report
"Promoting Excellence, National Consistency in Australian
Workers Compensation".

While the ACTU Council notes that there are some areas of the
HOWCA report which make a positive contribution to the reform of
workers compensation, the Council views with great concern many
of the HOWCA proposals which would, if implemented, represent a
substantial erosion of the rights and entitlements of injured
workers and would undermine the role of workers compensation
systems in providing full compensation for employment related
injury and disease.

The ACTU Council determines that the ACTU co-ordinate the
activities of affiliates and State Trades and Labor Councils to
develop an effective response to the report. The response to
particularly address issues such as:

1.   Identification of major areas of concern for particular states
     and affiliates.

2.   Preparation of submission by the ACTU, State Trades and
     Labor Councils, and affiliates for HOWCA by 31 October 1996.

3.   Lobbying of Federal and State politicians (government and
     opposition) in the lead up LMC meeting in October and

4.   Establishment of liaison with affected community groups
     including law firms and support groups.

5.   Development with each affiliate appropriate industrial
     response to report with a view to affecting change to the
     proposals (eg industrial campaigns) and dealing with
Matters for Information        28                September, 1996

     changes foreshadowed by making necessary claim on
     employers as part of Enterprise Bargaining.



     The 1996 ACTU Council recognises the substantial challenges
     facing the Labor movement in 1996 and beyond. Hostile
     governments at the Federal and State/Territory levels, cut-
     backs in publicly funded programs of support for those least
     able to manage, the threat of anti-union industrial laws at
     the Federal level and the likelihood of rising unemployment
     are collectively a serious challenge which requires total and
     effective commitment by trade unions on behalf of working
Matters for Information          29                September, 1996



     2.1   In the twelve months since the ACTU Congress, Council
           notes that we have made progress in preparing
           ourselves for the years ahead. This includes outcomes
           such as:

           i]    An effective response has been developed to the
                 anti-union Federal Industrial laws. We have
                 gathered strong political and public support for
                 our stand, including Churches, community
                 organisations and women’s groups. In addition,
                 there has been a strong campaign in pursuit of
                 the Letter of Demand served on employers

           ii]   Enterprise bargaining has continued with
                 settlements for twelve months in the order of
                 6% in many cases. A significant victory was
                 secured      in     Victoria    overcoming
                 discrimination against union members in
                 the public sector

           iii] Equal pay for women has been effectively

           iv]   The Living Wage campaign has progressed
                 to the stage where we have commenced
                 arbitral proceedings.    This case has the
                 potential to set new and fair minimum
                 standards for all Australian workers and
                 further progress the cause of equal pay

           v]    Occupational    Health   and     Workers
                 Compensation have been the subject of
                 ongoing co-ordinated activity in areas of
                 considerable importance
Matters for Information        30                September, 1996

          vi]   Vocational training initiatives have been
                taken in response to the MAATS proposals of
                the Federal and State governments.       A
                proposed agreement with major employers
                has been developed re MAATS

          vii] Union recruitment activity has continued
               with the objective of reversing the trends of
               recent years.    Industry campaigning by
               unions, regional initiatives, Helpline,
               telephone    win-back     campaigns     and
               Organising Works have all contributed
Matters for Information          31                 September, 1996


           viii] The ACTU and unions have established New
                 TUTA which will improve the quality of
                 union education

           ix]   Unions have commenced a broadened
                 program of delegate conferences designed
                 to ensure that workplace representatives
                 have greater involvement in the broad
                 policy direction for the union movement

     2.2   Union activity has rarely been easy or popular,
           while social and economic trends are making our
           job even harder. Council acknowledges that we
           in turn must respond with new initiatives and
           higher levels of effectiveness.


     3.1   In setting out our objectives for the next period the
           Council records its priorities as :

           i]    1997 must see the further consolidation of
                 enterprise bargaining and other wage initiatives
                 leading to higher living standards for all
                 Australian workers. This will include :

                 a]   Wage targets for a further expansion of
                      enterprise bargaining in 1997 to be set by the
                      December Executive meeting

                 b]   The finalisation of Stage 1 of the Living Wage

                 c]   Ongoing action to achieve equal pay for
Matters for Information        32                September, 1996

                d]   A campaign to ensure that young people in
                     vocational training continue to get decent

                e]   Begin review of working hours.

          ii]   Unions and the ACTU must continue their efforts
                to attract new members and retain those
                currently in our ranks. Actions will include:

                a]   Restructuring our regional organisation,
                     continuing recruitment campaigns and
                     initiatives in regional areas

                b]   Expanding and improving our job delegate
Matters for Information       33                 September, 1996


               c]   Ensuring that day-to-day union services are
                    provided effectively

               d]   Promoting democratic and representative

               e]   Developing new technology in an integrated
                    fashion to better service membership needs

               f]   Further develop union education

          iii] Unions and the ACTU need to work closely with
               other groups to counter the divisive and socially
               unacceptable consequences of the Federal
               government’s economic policies. We need to work
               closely with groups such as the Labor Party, the
               Democrats     and     other    Parties,   ACOSS,
               environmental organisations, the unemployed
               and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
               organisations. A structured approach to improve
               communication and working together with these
               groups needs to be achieved.       In particular
               campaigns need to be developed around issues
               such as :

               a]   Unemployment levels

               b]   Industry development

               c]   The Howard/Costello Budget

               d]   Attacks on the public sector, including the
                    erosion of education and health services

               e]   Social welfare standards
Matters for Information         34               September, 1996

                f]   The rights of indigenous people

                g]   Contracting out and home based work.

          iv]   Superannuation standards need to be improved
                in line with the relevant legislation enacted by
                the Labor government. The significance of union
                involvement in industry funds needs to be
                recognised and maintained

          v]    Campaigns against anti-union strategies of
                companies such as RTZ/CRA will be continued.
Matters for Information        35                September, 1996


          vi]   The historic and essential close working
                relationship between the union movement and
                the Australian Labor Party needs to be
                strengthened. The defeat of the Labor Party at
                the 1996 Federal election and the subsequent
                change in leadership requires a fresh approach to
                our working together

          vii] A further test case to improve the level of TCR
               benefits will be undertaken.

          viii] Ongoing activity needs to be maintained in a
                range of core areas of union work. This includes
                areas such as:

                a]   Workers Compensation reform

                b]   Occupational Health and Safety standards

                c]   Vocational training opportunities

                d]   Assistance to union movements in our region

                e]   Overcoming discrimination in the workplace

4   The ACTU Council acknowledges that to meet the needs of our
    members and workers generally will require effective and
    united action. The challenges ahead are substantial. With
    the support of the membership of affiliated unions we are
    confident of success.

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