Public hearings are entering their second day in Newcastle into the prevalence of insecure work.
The senate select committee on job security is reporting on the impact of insecure employment on the economy, on employees wages, workplace rights and conditions.
There was a full day of hearings yesterday at the Wests Newcastle chaired by Labor Senator Tony Sheldon, with the Nationals Senator Matt Canavan as deputy chair.
The hearings start at 10am again today.
Newcastle university employees will today detail the impact of rampant casualisation at Australian universities when they give evidence. National Tertiary Education Union member at the University of Newcastle Dr Chloe Killen, who will be speaking at today’s hearing, said insecure work deprives casual staff of financial security and the ability to plan their lives.
Senator Matt Canavan said yesterday he wants to see more secure work in the regions particularly and wants to make sure the regions take advantage of the opportunities that will open up for it.
“I want to highlight the great growth opportunities we have in regional Australia,”
“And to get secure jobs, we need to keep going for that economic growth. If we slow down, if we ignore the growth that’s ahead of us and opportunities in front of us, we will not have that great future for our kids and grandchildren.”
“I just think coming from somebody who lives in a regional area, I hate to see it when kids have to move away just to get a job and there are so many growth opportunities in manufacturing and mining and tourism,” he said.
“We need to be investing in that so our children can have a future in our regions and not have to move to a big city just for one.”
The witnesses at the committee yesterday included the University of Newcastle, two rail companies Progress Rail and Downer Rail, the National Tertiary Education Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the union-environmental group Hunter Jobs Alliance.
Casualisation has long been an issue debated in many industries and Matt Canavan said they, as a Liberal National Government made that better.
“Now, the Labour Party is very embarrassed about the fact that it took a Liberal National Government to end casualisation in this country at least forced casualisation obviously, people sometimes choose to work in a casual position, because it does provide greater pay and greater flexibility, albeit without the entitlements like leave and sick pay.”
“But now, if you’ve worked 12 months, under the new laws we’ve done, if you’ve worked 12 months in a regular job with a regular roster, you have the right to convert to permanent work, we’re the first government to have done that, and that laws just come into place.”
“We’ve had many hearings of this inquiry from labor hire companies, mining companies, education companies, that there are very few requests to convert to permanent work because as I say, a lot of people prefer the loading and other arrangements in the casual position. And when there are requests, they’re almost invariably approved, they’re approved,” said Matt Canavan.
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