Commission to tell Senate Inquiry of concerns for vulnerable

The Catholic Church's employment relations body will tell a Senate Inquiry today of its concerns about the potential impact of the government's workplace changes on the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

CLICK HEREThe Australian Catholic Commission for Workplace Relations (ACCER) will appear at the Senate Inquiry into the Government's Workplace Relations Reforms at 2.30 pm this afternoon.

ACCER executive officer John Ryan said he would present for the inquiry key concerns with the government's Bill which are based on Catholic Social Teaching and the Church's collective and diverse experience as a major employer in Australia.

"The results of our examination of the matters announced by the Government are concerns about the potential impact of these proposals on the vulnerable and disadvantaged, those who cannot bargain, the low paid, the unemployed and young workers who lack marketable skills," Mr Ryan said.

"In particular, we are concerned about the following aspects of the proposals: minimum wage setting, unfair dismissals, minimum conditions and agreement making and the functions of the AIRC."

Mr Ryan said ACCER was open to the introduction of a national industrial relations system, provided it is supportive of the values and principles necessary for cooperative industrial relations.

"It must also provide fairness and protection for the poor and the vulnerable, whether employed or unemployed, especially for working families and for young persons. We have considered the major features of the Commonwealth's proposals for the purpose of determining whether they meet these criteria. We are not satisfied that they do," he said.

ACCER has suggested some amendments to the Bill in order to ameliorate its impact on families, the poor and the vulnerable, including ensuring that the needs of families are taken into account.

ACCER also suggested that the Australian Fair Pay Commission be required to establish fair rates of pay having regard to a range of factors, including the interaction with the taxation and welfare support systems.

Catholic Church body to tell Senate Inquiry of concerns for the vulnerable in workplace changes (Australian Catholic Commission for Workplace Relations 17/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations | Senate Submission (PDF)

Commission worried about outworkers under IR rules (CathNews 16/11/05)
Howard repeats dismissal of religious IR conce (CathNews 10/11/05)
IR reforms to sideline body that Pope admired (CathNews 7/11/05)
Queensland religious join IR resistance (CathNews 19/10/05)
Archbishop warns priests warned not to become pawns (CathNews 14/10/05)
Papal twist in Parliament work debate (CathNews 12/10/05)
Govt IR detail fails to ease Commission's concern (CathNews 11/10/05)
Church body open to national industrial relations system (CathNews 12/9/05)
Church body slams IR policy proposals (CathNews 9/9/05)
Bishop urges Govt to tread softly on IR (CathNews 2/9/05)
Minister says full employment is Catholic "first principle" (CathNews 19/8/05)
Remote area voice sees PM 'off target' on IR (CathNews 12/8/05)
Commission answers PM's denial of existence of Catholic position (CathNews 10/8/05)
PM dismisses voice of Church (CathNews 8/8/05)
Melbourne Archbishop coordinating IR response (CathNews 3/8/05)
Minister tells churches to stay out of IR fight (CathNews 11/7/05)
Pell voices wages concerns (CathNews 4/7/05)
Canberra bishop speaks out on job insecurity fears (CathNews 1/7/04)
Church leaders worried about Howard IR changes (CathNews 29/6/05)
Bishop hits back at Minister's claims on IR reforms 1/6/05)
Catholic body seeks meeting with Minister over workplace laws (CathNews 30/5/05)

Fr Peter Norden SJ on industrial relations changes (Jesuit Social Services)
Politics and religion - still a bitter pill (Sydney Morning Herald 17/11/05)
Churches split as Anglicans oppose new laws (The Age 17/11/05)
Government 'fails the vulnerable' (The Australian 17/11/05)

17 Nov 2005