November 2023

9 Takeaways from Revenue Summit 2023

Each year, the Australia Institute’s Revenue Summit brings together leaders from across the community to discuss and explore raising revenue, tax reform and building an economy that funds Australia’s public services into the future.

Making Stealthing a Crime

On November 1, 2023, Chanel Contos gave a National Press Club address, speaking on sexual violence prevention and the importance of consent education. In her address, the founder of Teach Us Consent and former director of the Australia Institute’s Sex and Gender Equality program highlighted the progress made on criminalising stealthing nation-wide, and reflected on

September 2023

‘Wages, employment and power’: Call for conference papers

The Centre for Future Work is hosting a stream at the upcoming AIRAANZ Conference. Join us as we continue the AIRAANZ and the Centre for Future Work traditions of bringing researchers and activists together to debate important issues in the world of work and industrial relations. The AIRAANZ (Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia

August 2023

Parliament House

Another Democracy Agenda reform ticked off

by Bill Browne

Last week, Education Minister Jason Clare announced that he was going to remove political interference from the Australian Research Council grants process (except for national security concerns). It is a victory for academic freedom, and a testament to the work of Senator Mehreen Faruqi – who proposed the Ensuring Research Independence Bill back in 2018.

June 2023

May 2023

February 2023

November 2022

October 2022

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

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.

June 2022

The Impact of Tech on the Future of Work: Opening Remarks to Select Committee

by Peter Lewis

Opening Statement to the NSW Parliament Select Committee on the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in New South Wales Thank you for the invitation to appear today. I do apologise for not appearing in person, but I currently have Covid. I also apologise in advance if I

Enterprise Bargaining System no Longer Fit for Purpose

by Alison Pennington

The collapse in agreement coverage under Australia’s enterprise bargaining system in Australia in recent years, particularly in the private sector, has focused attention on the need for reforms that will give more workers the effective ability to collectively negotiate better wages and conditions. In the private sector, coverage by a current enterprise agreement has fallen by half since 2013: to below 11% of all workers by March 2021. No wonder wages are lagging so far behind inflation.

May 2022

Past the Pendulum: thinking inside The Cube

New research from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program suggests new models are needed to interpret national two-party preferred polls The latest Newspoll finding a national two-party preferred swing of 5.5% to Labor has election watchers and campaigners reaching for their electoral pendulum to work out what it all means come Saturday. The Australian’s

More Resources on Australia’s Wages Crisis

The debate over wages, prices, and living standards heated up even further this week, with the release of new ABS statistics showing continuing weakness in wages despite the acceleration of inflation. The latest data from the ABS Wage Price Index (WPI) shows nominal wages grew just 2.4% over the 12 months ending in March. That is less than half as fast as consumer prices grew (5.1%), producing the biggest decline in real wages this century.

Webinar: Changes to the SCHADS Award and Next Steps to Improve Job Quality in Human Services

The Fair Work Commission recently announced important changes to the SCHADS Award (which sets minimum standards for workers in home care, disability services, community agencies, and other vital services) as part of its award review process. This culminates several years of research and advocacy by unions representing workers in these sectors, aimed at improving job quality and stability in these vital but undervalued positions. The Centre for Future Work provided expert testimony to the Commission as part of its review.

February 2022

January 2022

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Labour Market Implications of Australia’s Failed COVID Strategy

by Jim Stanford

As COVID and recession gripped the world, through 2020 and most of 2021 Australia recorded one of the best outcomes: lower infection, fewer deaths, and a faster, stronger economic recovery. That seeming victory has been squandered, however by the appalling and infuriating events of recent weeks. Purportedly in the name of ‘protecting the economy’, key political leaders (led by the Commonwealth and NSW governments) threw the doors open to the virus at exactly the wrong time: just as the super-infectious Omicron variant was taking hold.

November 2021

What Next for Casual Work? Professor Andrew Stewart webinar recording

Casual employment has dominated Australia’s labour market recovery from COVID-19. And the right of employers to hire staff on a casual basis in almost any role they choose – including jobs that on their face appear have permanent characteristics – seems to have been cemented by recent amendments to the Fair Work Act, and by the High Court’s recent ruling in the WorkPac v. Rossato case.

August 2021

Fair Pay Agreements: How Workers in NZ Are Getting Their Share

by Alison Pennington

Across the ditch, the Ardern government in New Zealand is undertaking an ambitious and multi-dimensional effort to address low wages, inequality, and poor job quality. NZ unions have just won the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements, planned for implementation in 2022. FPAs will allow working people to bargain collectively across sectors and start to correct the income and power imbalance between workers and employers.

July 2021

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