Labor’s Membership fees for jobs scheme to be referred to Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

Labor’s Membership fees for jobs scheme to be referred to Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

The Government will refer Labor’s membership fees for jobs rule to the Anti-Discrimination Commission for investigation.

Labor’s rule requiring potential staff to pay Union fees is a clear breach of the fundamental workplace relations principles contained in the Fair work Act and Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination and Industrial Relations laws.

This scheme has serious echoes of the Victorian Labor Government’s ‘Red Shirts Rort’ which is being investigated by Victoria Police and has been slammed by the Victorian Ombudsman as breaking Parliamentary rules.

Apparently Rebecca White and every member sitting opposite believes Fair Work principles and Anti-Discrimination laws don’t apply to the Tasmanian Labor Party.

You can’t publish a requirement for Union membership in order to get a job – and then claim after the fact that you didn’t really enforce it.

This is a very serious matter and it’s Ms White – not the State Secretary – who is accountable for hiring practices in her office and the offices of State Labor MPs.

It’s also clear that the members fees for jobs rule has netted Unions big money.

Analysis of staffing numbers in Labor offices since 2013 shows that Unions would have netted in the order of $178,000 from compulsory unionism for State Labor staffers.

In 2013 and 2014 there were approximately 90 staffers in State Labor offices, with Labor still employing a minimum of 13 taxpayer funded staff in Opposition. With Labor rules requiring each of these staffers to pay for a Union membership at up to $796 per year to get and keep their jobs, Unions would have benefited from this discriminatory scheme by up to $178,000 over the last six years. It would also have been worth tens of thousands of dollars to the Labor Party.

Ms White needs to give a full explanation of why this rule exists and why she’s done nothing – including at Labor State Conference only two weeks ago – to get rid of it.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.