January 2023

December 2022

November 2022

Multi-Employer Bargaining Necessary for Fixing Wages Crisis

by Fiona Macdonald in The Conversation

Proposed reforms to Commonwealth industrial relations laws would create more opportunities for collective bargaining to occur on a multi-employer basis, rather than being limited solely to individual workplaces or enterprises. Business groups have attacked this proposal as a dramatic change that would supposedly spark widespread work stoppages and industrial chaos.

IR Reforms To Close Off The ‘Nuclear Option’ Will Protect Wages and Entitlements

by Lily Raynes

New research from the Centre for Future Work quantifies the dramatic risks faced by workers whose employers unilaterally terminate enterprise agreements during the course of renegotiations. This aggressive employer strategy, which became common after a precedent-setting 2015 court decision, would be curtailed by new industrial relations legislation proposed by the Commonwealth Government.

Would further interest rate rises do more harm than good?

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

In the past 7 months, the Reserve Bank has increased the cash rate by 275 basis points. That is as fast as any time since the RBA became independent. Given the pace of inflation growth, the rises are not wholly without cause, but as policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column the main drivers of inflation are now easing, and wages are yet to take off. In that case, should the RBA continue to raise rates given it will only slow the economy further?

October 2022

Job Opening: Carmichael Distinguished Research Fellow

by Jim Stanford

The Carmichael Centre at the Centre for Future Work invites applications for the Laurie Carmichael Distinguished Research Fellow position. It’s a three-year posting, with awesome potential to explore a range of progressive issues related to unions, collective bargaining, industrial policy, and workers’ education.

The Reserve Bank needs to acknowledge the failures of the inflation target

A comprehensive review of inflation released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work reveals that the inflation targeting in place since the early 1990s is not the neutral policy many assume it is. In that time inflation has missed the target more from below than above, and has coincided with a shift of national income away from workers to profits as wages have stagnated.

Webinar on Wages, Prices, and Power

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is sponsoring a series of webinars for union members, delegates, officials, and leaders on the current crisis in the cost of living in Australia. The surge in inflation since economic re-opening after COVID lockdowns has obviously intensified that crisis. But the seeds for it were planted long ago: by a decade of historically weak wage growth, a speculative property price bubble, and a systematic efforts to weaken collective bargaining and unionisation.

September 2022

The UK shows how bad the Stage 3 tax cuts will be

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

This week the UK government introduced massive high-income tax cuts – cuts that are not even as bad as the Stage 3 tax cuts here in Australia. And the reaction by the market was brutal. Investors saw the tax cuts for what they were – a redistribution of national income from the poorest to the wealthiest, that provided no economic growth. As a result the value of the UK Pound plunged.

International Seafarers Suffer $65 Million in Wage Theft Annually in Australian Waters

Seafarers working on foreign-registered freight ships in Australian waters face regular theft of wages and other entitlements due to legal loopholes and lax enforcement of labour standards, according to a new research report published today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The report, titled Robbed At Sea, examines records of wage inspections conducted

Work in the Care Economy Vital for Future Well-Being

by Fiona Macdonald

There is growing understanding that care work — including jobs in aged care, disability services, early child education and care, and others — is of growing importance to future employment and wage trends, as well as to the quality of life of Australians who depend on these social and community services. For too long, jobs in these growing sectors have been devalued. Government underfunding and weak labour and quality standards have reinforced the degradation of work in care sectors. But with intense labour shortages, public concern about inadequate quality, and the need to expand services to meet social needs, there is now more widespread recognition that care jobs must be improved, and quickly: with more funding, better training, limits on private delivery, multi-employer bargaining, and more.

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