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John Passant

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December 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Equal pay: don’t believe Labor’s lies

If there is one lesson that should come through from Wikileaks it is this: our political rulers lie and lie and lie to us all the time. That is the role of the paid mountebanks of capital.

Today at a union rally for equal pay I heard that in a letter from Employment Minister Chris Evans the Labor Government had solemnly promised that funding issues – the Federal Government pays for half the costs of the community and services sector – would not detract from its in principle support for equal pay for equal work. They just didn’t make any commitment to support it.

The ALP lackeys and charlatans loved this non-core promise. It was ‘a great victory’ for the poorly paid community services sector they claimed. Evans’ letter gave the officials the opportunity to brandish a piece of paper and proclaim industrial peace in our time.

The bankruptcy of these union officials is beyond belief. Labor promised nothing.

It didn’t support equal pay. It didn’t give a program for it to be implemented. In a letter to the Australian Services Union all Chris Evans, the snake oil salesman and Employment Minister in the Labor Party Government, said was that ‘the submission does not assert that Fair Work Australia should not award or discount equal remuneration because of the potential impact on the commonwealth.’

This was enough for the ASU leadership to back down and proclaim the new Jerusalem had arrived. Actually, community sector workers are still wandering aimlessly in the desert praying that the Fair Work Australia case some time next year for equal pay for equal work gives them something.

Let’s be clear. There is absolutely nothing concrete in Evan’s letter for poorly paid community sector workers. No ringing support, no commitment to implement any decision, no acceptance of the principle and action on it. Just gobbledygook about not undermining the principle.

Well Labor, if it is a principle worth supporting, why not act on it now and start to implement equal pay for equal work in the community sector immediately?

Fair Work Australia may well do some dodgy deal, spread out over years, or perhaps even reject the concept of equal pay for equal work altogether.

Even if Fair Work Australia does award the hefty pay increases sought – up to 50 percent – the Government is likely to accept that but not increase funding to the sector to cover the increased costs. This will result in job losses, if the workers let the ALP get away with this job destroying approach.

As speaker after speaker told the really I went to, the community sector is underfunded and its workers underpaid. It has been for the one hundred years of its existence.

That’s because Governments of both persuasions prey on the commitment these community workers have to the vulnerable in society.

Nurses suffered the same fate until they began to organise industrially and strike for better pay in the late 70s and early 80s. It is a lesson community workers should heed.

The best way to win equal pay for equal work is not to rely on the ‘independent umpire’ – do people really believe that nonsense? – or the liars of the ALP.

The best way to win equal pay for equal work and to keep and expand the number of jobs in the community sector is to strike.


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