United Voice members who work in public schools and hospitals today spoke to the State Parliamentary Standing Committee on Legislation about the effects the proposed Workforce Reform Bill will have on their livelihoods.
United Voice members across the state submitted more than 90 submissions to the committee explaining how the Bill will affect their jobs and their lives.
The proposed Bill will allow the Government to take away the rights United Voice members fought so hard for in their last Enterprise Bargaining Agreement such as allowing the Government to make redundancies within the public service without offering retraining or redeployment opportunities.
United Voice member Sue has been an Education Assistant for more than twelve years and her income helps supplement her household of four and provides assistance to her elderly parents.
“In my role as an EA I work directly with 20 primary students with various special needs and their families in 2013,” she said.
“These families rely on their government to help support their children and yet the Liberal governments make slashing cuts to education which puts this support into jeopardy.
“In introducing and championing this Workplace Reform Bill you are effectively slashing any hope of job security for my fellow workers and myself in both health and education and putting our financial future in jeopardy.”
Sue says the current EBA is a lawful binding agreement and the Barnett Government should abide to it the same way United Voice members in the health and education do.
“This proposal, which will allow the Government to force redundancies within the public service without offering retraining or redeployment opportunities, needs to be viewed with the contempt it deserves,” she says.
United Voice member Kerry has been an Education Assistant for the past 11 years and says she couldn't cope emotionally or financially with being constantly under the threat of losing her job or having her hours cut.
“Many Education Assistants are already struggling to survive financially on low wages,” she said.
“I provide a vital role as an Education Assistant. It is a job I love and find very rewarding. It is my career.
“Job security and job permanence is imperative if we are going to continue to provide great service to the schools we work in.
Kerry said she felt a great deal of trepidation at the start of the 2014 school year.
“I have been informed that my half day of preparation time each week has been cut, and without an Education Assistant to assist the anaphylactic students, I will find it exceedingly difficult to fulfil my job as required - I will be busy to exhaustion!
“With another threat looming I have very grave concerns.”
Mark, a Patient Care Assistant at Shenton Park campus, said the government’s proposed bill will allow it to side step all or parts of the current EBA and other agreements.
“This makes a mockery of the very term ‘agreement’,” he says.
“The only one’s to benefit from this nasty bill will be the economic elite and the wealthiest citizens not the working people.
“Kill the bill.”