Why would anyone join a union?

May 15, 2012


Ged Kearney says the union movement needs to emphasise its achievements rather than letting others focus on the negatives.

As the ACTU Congress meets this week, the HSU East and Craig Thomson affairs continue to dominate the political landscape.

But ACTU President Ged Kearney says Congress will be focusing on the future and the policies which make the work place — and society – fairer.

She tells 3Q that even though union membership has dropped, thousands of people join unions every year. With an increasingly casualised workforce, Kearney says unions are needed more than ever.

Are we dumbing down our universities?

May 1, 2012


Matt McGowan explains why opening up university places is admirable but will fail unless it is matched with better funding.

This year almost 90 per cent of school leavers who applied to go to university got a place. That’s because the government removed the caps on university enrolments to create more opportunities for those from lower socio-economic groups.

But Matt McGowan from the National Tertiary Education Union tells 3Q that academics are already suffering with the swelling numbers of foreign fee paying students. With this new influx – which brings in much less funding capital – the pressures on the system will be magnified.

He talks about the NTEU’s campaign Invest in Universities calling for a fix to the problem.

Opinion of Unions

Mar 19, 2012

Q. Overall, do you think unions have been good or bad for Australian working people? 

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Work full time

Work part time

Total good

48%

72%

31%

70%

48%

48%

Total bad

17%

6%

31%

3%

18%

18%

Very good

12%

26%

4%

21%

13%

10%

Good

36%

46%

27%

49%

35%

38%

Neither good nor bad

28%

19%

34%

16%

28%

29%

Bad

11%

4%

19%

3%

12%

10%

Very bad

6%

2%

12%

6%

8%

Don’t know

6%

3%

4%

10%

6%

5%

48% think that unions have been good for Australian working people, 17% think they have been bad, and 28% think they have been neither good nor bad.

72% of Labor voters and 70% of Greens voters think they have been good and Liberal/National voters are split 31% good/31% bad.

There was no difference between the views of workers and non-workers and very little difference be age, gender or income.

Comments »

Importance of Unions

Mar 19, 2012

Q. And how important are unions for Australian working people today?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Work full time

Work part time

Total very/quite important

56%

80%

39%

71%

55%

57%

Very important

19%

34%

8%

31%

18%

16%

Quite important

37%

46%

31%

40%

37%

41%

Not very important

27%

12%

39%

21%

30%

31%

Not at all important

8%

2%

16%

8%

8%

Don’t know

9%

6%

6%

7%

7%

5%

56% think that unions are very or quite important for Australian working people today.

80% of Labor voters and 71% of Greens voters think they are important compared to only 39% of Liberal/National voters.

There was little difference by age and gender groups – but those on lower incomes were a little more likely to think unions are important (63% of those earning less than $1,000pw).

Comments »

Tony Abbot Vs Union Position

May 31, 2010

Q. Tony Abbott says that by removing unfair dismissal laws and re-instituting AWA Individual contracts he is not bringing back Workchoices but making sure our IR system promotes workplace flexibility. The unions say that taking away unfair dismissal rights and re-instituting AWA Individual contracts IS bringing back two of the main pillars of WorkChoices and shows the Liberals are determined to make the laws favour companies at the expense of ordinary workers. Whose view is closest to your own?

Tony Abbott 24%
The unions 43%
Don’t know 33%

 24% agreed more with Tony Abbott’s position on removing unfair dismissal laws and re-instituting AWA Individual contracts and 43% agreed more with the unions’ position that the Liberals are determined to make the laws favour companies at the expense of ordinary workers.

69% of Labor voters support the unions’ position and 56% of Liberal/National voters support Tony Abbott’s position.

 51% of those aged 35-54 support the unions’ position and 21% support Tony Abbott’s position. Comments »

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