ETU calls for more action to make ALP jobs plan work

Union calls for more action to make ALP jobs plan work

Good first step but more needed to address LNP created crisis

The Queensland NT Branch of the Electrical Trades Union welcomed Federal ALP’s local projects, local jobs procurement announcement today, calling it a good first step, but warned there is more to do.

ETU State Secretary Peter Ong said the announcement was welcome news when compared with the Federal LNP Government’s continued failure to address skills shortages and provide quality, well paid, local job opportunities for local workers.

“The ALP is at least looking at ways to improve our TAFE system with its $100 million cash injection and the scrapping of upfront fees for 100,000 students, compare this to the Morrison Government who signaled their contempt for publicly funded TAFE by appointing former New Zealand Nationals MP Steven Joyce to head up a wide-ranging VET review last year”

“According to NZ Treasury figures Mr Joyce and the National Government left TAFE colleges underfunded by a massive $3 Billion over 10 years, not the sort of person you appoint to a so-called independent review if your aim is to increase TAFE funding and access”

On the Jobs front the ETU called for the ALP to go further than the announcements. “Making sure we have local content and local employment is a great initiative but it will fail if it follows the usual pattern of poverty wages, insecure work and unsafe workplaces that are the hallmark of the LNP Government’s Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Code)”

Mr Ong pointed to the ratios of tradespeople to apprentices as a case in point.

While the ETU welcomed the announcement of a prescribed ratio Mr Ong argues one apprentice to ten tradies does not go far enough and should be closer to the one in four ratios that were commonplace prior to the Code.

“Before the Code we had negotiated provisions in Enterprise Agreements that provided a ratio of one apprentice to four tradies, this provided a pipeline for competent tradespeople going forward, enter the LNP Code and it became illegal to have ratios in agreements, resulting in up to 130,000 less apprentices under the LNP”

“The ALP needs to walk the walk on these bread and butter issues, there are a few things they could do immediately if elected to make the jobs plan work. For example;

• Better define what labour market testing is and ensure trade unions have a seat at the table to ensure compliance.
• Ensure that so called value for money is not code for lowest bidder, low pay or sham contracts.
• Fastrack the abolition of the restrictive Code.

For further information Peter Ong 0419 721 046 or Andrew Irvine 0448 633 858