ACT Govt shows the way on protecting workers

The CPSU welcomes the ACT Government’s plan to provide adequate protections for workers serving the Canberra community.

The ACT Government has introduced legislation today as part of a Secure Local Jobs package to ensure contracting companies meet their legal obligations in areas such as pay, safety, working conditions and more. ACT Government procurement contracts will potentially be cancelled for companies that do not comply by exposing workers to unsafe or other improper working conditions. CPSU ACT Regional Secretary Brooke Muscat-Bentley said: “This is a good day for workers in the ACT. Legislation is absolutely needed to ensure private contracting companies do the right thing by their workers and treat them with dignity in terms of rights, safety, pay and more.”

“We will be closely examining the details of the legislation and ensuring it is fit for purpose so that businesses that treat workers properly can prosper and those that don’t pay the price. This will make the minimum working standards that should be in place clear to both workers and their bosses.”

“Public servants managing contracts will benefit from clear rules and a focus on protecting workers’ rights in contracting companies.”

“Today’s announcement stands in stark contrast to the Turnbull Government, which is actively encouraging low wages, shoddy working conditions and insecure jobs through its rush to turn essential public services into cash cows for the private sector.”

“The Turnbull Government’s ever growing cash handout to companies like Stellar and Serco is alarming, given these firms pay their workers’ wages that are frankly hard to live on and subject them to unacceptable conditions. A five-month pregnant women should never be bullied by her bosses for taking too many toilet breaks, as has reportedly happened at Stellar.”

“Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith’s introduction of this legislation today reinforces just how important it is to change the rules so all workers are better protected, not just those covered by the ACT’s Secure Local Jobs package.”