Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Posts Tagged ‘Unions’

A lesson for the Carpenator

Posted by occidentprone on August 1, 2008

 The West Australian reports the WA teachers pay negotiations with the state government have broken down. 

The teachers’ proposed pay deal was on the brink of collapse yesterday, with almost half the union’s governing body breaking ranks to reveal they do not support the agreement struck with the State Government last week. 
More than a week after the pay offer was approved by the union’s executive and presented by the Government and union president Anne Gisborne as a fait accompli, seven out of 17 members of the executive have broken ranks to condemn it publicly. 
In what could prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government in the weeks leading up to the next State election, the union rebels are urging teachers to seriously question the deal when voting starts this month. 

…The Government has offered teachers pay rises of between 15 and 21 per cent over three years and annual allowances of between $3000 and $19,000 to those who teach in tough city schools and remote schools. Education Minister Mark McGowan says the deal would make WA teachers better paid than those in other States. 
But the seven rebels told The West Australian in a statement yesterday that the agreement would only keep pace with inflation. 

This is a tenuous link but under the subgenre of food for thought: What are our public servants to make of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s move to sack 22,000 California state workers and cut the pay of 200,000 more to minimum wage?

Here in WA the government is crying poor every time some two-bit irrelevant section of the public service, like say teachers or nurses or coppers, wants more money for the cushy jobs they do.

“Most of those laid off are seasonal and part-time staff, while the 200,000 remaining state employees would have their full salaries restored when a budget was agreed, the governor said.

“Today I am exercising my executive authority to avoid a full-blown crisis and keep our state moving forward,” he said.

“This is not an action I take lightly but we do not have a budget and, as governor, I have a responsibility to make sure our state has enough money to pay its bills.” 

… Asked whether his administration would sue the state financial controller’s office if it did not comply with the executive order, Mr Schwarzenegger said:

“If that’s what it takes. I’m here to make sure that our state functions, and whatever it takes, I will do it.” (Source: BBC

Alan Carpenter is no superhero like Arnie and our political system doesn’t allow the premier to sign away workers in the stroke of a pen on an executive order as has happened in the US. But in WA, where we have a worker shortage, the state is not going to function at all without happy teachers or nurses or coppers.

Like the man said, whatever it takes.

Posted in Diversions, Foreign affairs, Industrial relations, Perth, Politics, West Australian politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bruvver slaughters opposition lamb

Posted by occidentprone on May 18, 2008

Wow, that was quick – and hopefully painless. News.com.au reports:

THE man who wants to topple Kevin Reynolds says he has been sacked from his job as a union safety officer in retaliation for his election challenge.

Darren Kavanagh, 39, said yesterday that Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union staff told him that a decision was made to sack him from his $90,000-a-year job after he announced his leadership bid on Friday.

And this:

“They (Mr Reynolds and the executive) will no doubt come up with a reason. They will say I went to the media and started campaigning in work time. 
“I am sure they will come up with some excuse.” 
Mr Reynolds denied yesterday that Mr Kavanagh had been sacked, but said the union’s executive would meet this week to discuss the safety officer’s future. 
“I don’t know what individuals have been talking about, but I certainly have not been in any discussion with our executive about terminating him at this stage,” Mr Reynolds said. 
“I am very concerned about the lies that are being told.”

Indeed Kev, so are we. And concerned about democracy and freedom of association and political influence and … the list goes on. 

Mr Reynolds said he had been challenged only twice previously during his 35-year tenure as union secretary. 
He said Mr Kavanagh’s grievances seemed to be directed more at his deputy Joe McDonald. 

So much for Kavanagh’s Dare to struggle, dare to win.


Posted in Perth, West Australian politics | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

But does he have the stomach for it?

Posted by occidentprone on May 17, 2008

Darren Kavanagh is a brave man – he’s challenging Kevin Reynolds in a CFMEU election in October. Big Kev is ‘morally corrupt’ says Kavanagh. He wants generational change.

Kavanagh claims Reynolds is pushing the builders union towards helping campaigns for independents running in the next state election. And Reynolds’ wife Shelley Archer is an independent MP, having quit the Labor Party after being disgraced.

To be fair, Reynolds denies that’s the case – that there’s no mention of putting money into any such campaign. But he has been state secretary for 35 years and does not concede one tiny bit that Kavanagh has a fair point. 

For readers outside WA, here’s a hint on Reynolds’ profile: he’s a gutsy bloke and image-wise he makes Troy Buswell look like a sensitive new aged guy.

Looks like the super heavyweight is going up against the lamb to the slaughter.


Posted in Perth | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »