TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2023
21 May 2023
ESTA ALLOWANCE CASE
Our claim for payment of the Mentoring Allowance to Trainers was heard in the Magistrates Court this week. We argued that the plain meaning of the words, and the fact that ESTA agreed that accredited Trainers were doing mentoring, entitled Trainers to the allowance. ESTA through their legal team argued that Trainers were excepted. Five witnesses were called and the matter revolved around interpretation of the clause and EBA. The Magistrate reserved his decision on 16 May and indicated that we should have a decision in about 2 weeks.
SUPER TO INCREASE
From 1 July 2023, the superannuation guarantee (SG) will also increase by 0.5% from 10.5% to 11.0%. Each SG increase aims to reduce financial pressure on the Age Pension, improving financial outcomes at retirement for Australia's ageing population.
OPTUS REDUNDANCIES AGAIN
Optus has advised of redundancies in Telesales and Home Connect. Overall, there are 179 positions affected, with 130 in NSW, 27 in Victoria, 12 in Queensland, 5 in South Australia, 3 in Western Australia and 2 in ACT. Should you have any problems with the initiative, please contact us.
POST SPF SWLF RESTRUCTURE
Post in Sydney is now moving to implement the new structure - managers, team leaders, second in charge and SMEs.. One Technical Manager position will be advertised, and the TM will report directly to Normie. We have not resolved the direct nomination of the SPF PTO7 team leaders. We will monitor the actions of Post carefully on this matter as past events cause members much concern.
HISTORY - 1856 - STONEMASON'S TAKE ACTION FOR THE 8-HOUR DAY
On 21 April in 1856, building workers in Melbourne took strike action and won the 8-hour day as a general industry standard. Many of the stonemasons who came to Australia because of the boom of these years had previously been activists in the workers movement elsewhere.
This was true of James Stephens and James Galloway who had been part of the British workers' movement known as Chartism.
They brought traditions of activism down under, and helped found new workers' organisations like the Stonemasons' Society in Melbourne - and a similar society in Sydney.
It was common in the industry at the time for workers to toil for 10 hours a day.
In Sydney, in 1855, sources suggest that Stonemasons on two worksites took action and won the eight hour day. They showed it was possible! But the struggle continued to make this a standard across the industry.
In Melbourne, on the 26th of March, Stonemasons and employers held a mass public meeting to discuss if the 8-hour day would be implemented. It was declared at the meeting that the eight hour day would begin as the new industry standard from 21 April.
But not all employers agreed - and two large employers opposed the shortening of working hours without a reduction in pay. One of these employers had been contracted to build the Victorian parliament house building on Spring Street.
On 21 April, Stonemasons working at the University of Melbourne, led by James Stephens, stopped work and marched into the city to demand the 8 hour day across the industry immediately.
As the protest continued, Stonemasons from other building sites joined the march.
James Galloway explained in a letter to a prominent newspaper, that most of the Stonemasons on the march had already been granted the eight hour day. But, as he said: `we considered we were not justified in accepting the boon from our employers unless it could be universal in its operation, so that all contractors might have a fair chance.'
In other words - they would take action to make sure all Stonemasons had the eight-hour day - an act of solidarity, and one that would ensure they right was not just won, but maintained, in years to come.
Soon, the final employers conceded the demand - the eight hour day with no loss of pay as a general industry standard.
The Stonemasons were doing more than asserting an industrial right. They were asserting the fundamental humanity of the working person.
The Stonemasons didn't wait for anyone to give them this right, they got together, organised, and took action. They won it.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
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