Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Weekend Penalty Rates Hazard Ahead

The recent productivity report may well spell the end of not just penalty rates for weekend workers.

If the penalty rates for weekend workers are abolished, unions are finished in Australia are the wispers heard about town.

Speaking to a transport worker yesterday, Brian Newman from Workers First was told "....if the government swings this, I know I'm finished with unions. What's the use of being a member of an organisation that fights like an old women and only wants our fees to give to the labor party. It's a joke!"

Workers First is a firm believer in the original union concept where members needs were serviced, not "organised" from a desktop.

If you need representation on this important issue, contact Workers First today.



Sunday, 13 December 2015

URGENT NOTICE - POSITION VACANT

Workers First is looking for a suitably qualified person to work with our Partner Registered Training Organisation(RTO) at the Gold Coast Training College immediately.


Workers First RTO Partner, Gold Coast Training College, needs a person for immediate start with the following qualifications.

BSB31015 Certificate III 

(Business Administration (Legal))


Certificate IV 

(Training and Assessment TAE40110)


This is ideal for anyone looking to work from home, with flexible hours.

For more information contact us today.






Wanna-Be Bill, What A Dill!

Bill Shorten, what a goose! Fair Dinkum! 

What does he do in response to being caught texting on his phone whilst driving? He has a fuzzy feel good article published in the Sunday Mail touting his Wife's relationship to Allison Baden-Clay (Stand Up For Allison - Shorten's Wife Tells Story of Lost Friend and Inspired Legacy, Sunday Mail (13 December 2015).

It may well have been beyond his control of when this article was published, but seriously, not a good look Wanna-Be Bill.

Cartoon from Sunday Mail 13.12.15 page 74

See the full Sunday Mail article at www.couriermail.com.au

Please post your thoughts on this important topic.

Workers First Pty Ltd would like some feedback on this topic and the general feeling amongst our members and the community.

Please share your comments with us below.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

IMPORTANT NOTICE


www.workersfirst.com.au is have some maintenance done by our host Volusion until lunchtime today.

If you require urgent assistance or information, please email gethelp@workersfirst.com.au or call us on 07 3807 3807.



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Not in a Union? Need Help? Can't Afford a Lawyer? $1 a Day Membership


Too often today, workers are walking away from their positions when they are confronted by bosses on workplace matters the workers just can't handle or don't have anyone to turn to for support.

Now, workers in all industries can turn to Workers First for support and representation in all workplace matters.

Workers can get a FREE 30 minute consultation to discuss their workplace issue with Workers First by calling 07 3807 3807 or by using the online contact form HERE.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.




Thursday, 3 December 2015

Macoun v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] HCA 44



In this matter, the High Court said;

The appeal should be dismissed.  The parties agreed that there should be no order as to costs.

Income tax – International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 (Cth) – Exemption from taxation on salaries and emoluments received from certain international organisations – Whether monthly pension payments exempt from taxation.

International law – Treaty interpretation – Privileges and immunities of specialized agencies – Whether Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies requires Australia not to tax monthly pension payments received by former officer of specialized agency.

Words and phrases – "emolument", "pension", "salary".

For original source, go to HERE

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.

Fair Work Ombudsman v Quest South Perth Holdings Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 45




In this matter, the Federal Court said;


The following orders should be made:

1. Appeal allowed.

2. Set aside the order of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia made on 17 March 2015 and, in its place, order that:

(a) the appeal be allowed;

(b) the order of McKerracher J made on 26 July 2013 be varied so that, in addition to the declarations contained in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the order, the following declarations be made:

"2A. The first respondent contravened s 357 of the Act by representing to Ms Margaret Best that the contract of employment under which she was employed by the first respondent was a contract for services under which she performed work as an independent contractor";

"2B. The first respondent contravened s 357 of the Act by representing to Ms Carol Roden that the contract of employment under which she was employed by the first respondent was a contract for services under which she performed work as an independent contractor"; and

(c) the proceeding be remitted to a judge of the Federal Court for further hearing to determine any pecuniary penalties to be imposed on the first respondent in respect of those contraventions.


Employment law – Employer and employee – Independent contractor – Sham arrangements – Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), s 357(1) prohibits representation by employer to employee that contract of employment under which individual is employed is contract for services – First respondent represented that employees performed work as independent contractors under contracts for services with second respondent – Whether first respondent contravened s 357(1).

Words and phrases – "contract for services", "independent contractor", "sham arrangement".

(02 December 2015) (FRENCH CJ, KIEFEL, BELL, GAGELER AND NETTLE JJ)


See the original source at HERE 

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.




24 Hour Assistance


In the modern workplace, it is necessary for workers to have access to advice as often as possible.

Workers First is responding to the latest trend amongst employers who are delivering show cause notices and dismissal notices after hours, leaving working to feel frustrated and worried until the next business day when they hope to speak with a representative.

In unfair dismissal cases particularly, every minute counts and where there are matters requiring considered responses such as show cause disciplinary matters, workers with material for their respective representatives to consider need access to their representatives to make the magic happen.

For these reasons, Workers First encourages our members and clients to use the 0434WORKER (0434 967 537) on call number to make contact in matters such as unfair dismissal.

Prison Officers, Police, Immigration, Detention and Security workers and a whole range of other industry shift workers have a genuine need to touch base during these hours and we strongly encourage it in matters of genuine urgency.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.





Thursday, 26 November 2015

Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership

Doing the Right Thing

Know in advance what you'd do.

© iStockphoto

We've seen some high profile ethical failures in the press in recent years. It will be hard to forget the devastation caused by accounting fraud at the investment company run by Bernard Madoff, or the earlier frauds at Enron and Worldcom. People have also raised ethical questions over the welfare of some organizations' staff and suppliers.

This highlights the extent to which it can be difficult for leaders to determine what's right and wrong. Some make the wrong choices – and end up in the news or in the courts.

What we rarely see, however, are stories about the numerous companies that are managed by ethical leaders. While standards seem to keep falling in some corporations, other leaders "raise the bar" and inspire their teams to do the same. These leaders do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. They put their ethics before the bottom line – and, as a result, they have dedicated teams that would do almost anything for them.

So how do they do this? And how can you do it as well? We'll show you how to define your own ethical standards – and start putting those standards into practice.

Define Your Organization's Values

To lead your team with character and integrity, you must set an example. You're the leader, remember? Your team looks to you. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization's values.

For example, the global technology giant 3M is well known for its company values. Why? Because the entire team – from top executives all the way down to the mailroom – live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day. 3M communicates clearly that it wants its staff to do things like keep promises, have personal accountability, and respect others in the workforce. Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. And as a result, everyone else follows.

Hopefully, your company has clear rules about how it wants team members to act. As a leader, it's up to you to know these rules and codes of conduct – and to make sure you enforce them. (Our in-depth article Why the Rules Are There can help you with this.)

Your personal values are also important. If the company's written rules don't say that you must be fair to everyone, but this value is important to you – then, of course, you're going to be fair.

Good leaders follow their personal values as well as organizational values.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What standards of behavior are really important to my company?
  • What specific values do I admire in certain leaders? Do I identify with those values?
  • Would I still live by those values, even if they put me at a competitive disadvantage?

Set the Tone

Now that you know your company's core values, you can begin to set the tone and create the right environment for your team and your organization. Again, leading by example is the best way to do this.

It's what you do, not what you say, that demonstrates to your team what you care about. So, if your company values honesty above all else, then make sure you demonstrate that by being honest with everyone around you. If your company values free speech, then make sure you allow your team to communicate their ideas openly.

Next, establish consequences for team members who don't follow corporate values. If you allow someone to come in late continuously without making up the hours, that won't set a good example for the rest of the team.

You need good consequences as well. Set up some kind of reward system for team members who consistently act according to the company values.

Storytelling is a great way to reinforce and communicate these values. If you know of team members – or even clients – who acted ethically in difficult situations, then tell their stories. This shows your staff that they can do it as well. To learn more, see our article on the art of business storytelling.

By getting your team interested in ethical conduct, you communicate how important these values are to both you and your organization.

Recognize Ethical Dilemmas

Here's the scenario: You're in a meeting with other top executives, and you realize that one of your colleagues has changed the numbers in his report.

As you listen, you realize that he's exaggerating how well his team is doing on a major project. Instead of saying that his team will finish in eight weeks, which he previously told you, he's promising to be done in only five weeks. And instead of saying that the project will help increase company earnings by 4%, which he also told you earlier, he's promising a 12% increase.

What do you do? He's a close colleague and a personal friend. On the other hand, he's overstating how well his team is doing. Do you support him, or do you tell the truth to the other executives?

We're often faced with tough choices like this in the workplace. Most of the time, however, ethical dilemmas aren't this obvious, and they can be hidden in ways that are hard to uncover.

So, how do you recognize these dilemmas?

  • Identify "trigger" situations – Certain situations seem to attract ethical dilemmas. Some of these are areas like purchasing, hiring, firing, promoting, and calculating bonuses.

    There can also be other unexpected situations. You could make a mistake – will you admit it to your boss, or try to cover it up? Or you could discover that a colleague is acting unethically – do you protect the person or tell someone?

    By recognizing when these situations might occur, you can make the right decisions when and if something actually happens.

  • Prepare in advance – Imagine yourself in the situations we just mentioned. What would you do if you knew one of your colleagues was about to be fired, but you weren't legally allowed to tell her?

    Putting yourself in these imaginary situations can help you work through your feelings and decide what you would do if the situation occurred. In real life, you may have only seconds to reach a decision. Of course, you won't be able to imagine every possible ethical dilemma you might face, but this exercise WILL help you get to know your values, and it can prepare you for the decisions you may have to make.

  • Listen to your "inner voice" – Your conscience often tells you that something isn't right, even if this is just a feeling of uneasiness with something. If you face a situation that makes you uncomfortable, or goes against one of your core values or beliefs, then make sure that you stop and think things through rationally.
  • Reevaluate your decision before you act – If you're in a difficult situation and you aren't sure what to do, make a decision. But, before you act on that decision, ask yourself how you would feel if your actions were in the company newsletter or on the evening news for everyone to see. Would you be proud of what you did? If not, then reconsider your decision.

When in Doubt...

At times, you'll make a decision but still wonder if you did the right thing. You may be uncomfortable, but these situations can teach you to trust yourself and your instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction.

Key Points

Ethical living – and leading – takes courage and conviction. It means doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn't popular or easy. But when you make decisions based on your core values, then you tell the world that you can't be bought – and you lead your team by example.

Once you identify your company's core values as well as your own, you can start to set the tone with your team and your organization. Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you do as you would wish others to do.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Prosecution ordered to disclose full criminal history of witnesses and victims

The recent ex tempore decision of Justice McMeekin in The Queen v Stanley Stanley Jnr [2015] QSC 327 has resolved the issue of whether or not the prosecution must disclose full criminal histories of witnesses, and deceased persons who are allegedly the victims of murder, to the defence. His Honour determined that the obligation to provide all documents to the defendant which might reasonably assist in his or her defence over-rides any rights of witnesses or deceased persons to prevent old offences being brought to light. His Honour found that the operation of s590 AB of the Criminal Code did not prevent the disclosure of old offences, including spent offences.

The full decision can be read here.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Monday, 23 November 2015

Evidence is "adjectival", as distinct from "substantive" law.....

Did you ever wonder what the secret to winning a court case is?

This last sentence here might give you an advantage next time you're preparing your brief or taking notes about a workplace incident.


Contemporaneous notes will be weighted far more heavily by a decision maker than hearsay evidence. 

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Workers First's Job Ready Initiative Underway




As part of our commitment to ensuring workers get great benefits from their membership of Workers First, our Job Ready team and Danielle Newman​ have started work on uploading the latest Gloweave and DNC Workwear range for members to purchase at greatly discounted prices. Here's one of the first products we've uploaded today and the rest will be added to our website over the next couple of weeks.

Obviously this isn't our core business, but we see great benefits in making these products available to clients and members at special rates because after all, we believe in the concept of "workers first".

In the coming weeks, will also be adding a large range of high quality suits and corporate attire, again offered at hugely discounted prices to benefit Workers First members.

The Workers First Job Ready initiative is helping to create local jobs in South East Queensland as the business continues to evolve.

Help us to help you. If you have any special requests for workwear or corporate and formal attire, please contact jobready@workersfirst.com.au or call 07 3807 3807 and speak with Danielle Newman.


Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Saturday, 21 November 2015

CFMEU Bowen Hills Office Raided



A troubled week for the CFMEU this week as the raids a set to continue if their court action fails. 

Destruction of documents in this current context would be a serious crime.

Let's hope justice is preserved and a just outcome delivered.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

FREE Membership Card For All Prison Officers


 Membership cards have been commissioned and there's enough for every Prison Officer in Australia.

Register your FREE APOA Membership and start contributing to the improvement of our industry.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.


Every Prison Officer MUST Watch This...





Incarceration: A VICE Panel, Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2015


The video has a number of comments by the guest speakers that will both resonate and offend Prison Officers, nevertheless, we think this is a video that must be watched by all Prison Officers to promote active engagement in our industry issues.

Please leave your comments on our blog at the end of the video.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Cherti v Queensland Rail [2014] QIRC 220 - Opportunity to Respond

Opportunity to respond
A decision maker should not make a decision by having regard to undisclosed material being adverse information that was credible, relevant and significant to the decision to be made without first bringing the material to the attention of the relevant person. See Cherti v Queensland Rail [2014] QIRC 220 at [21].

"it's a whole new world of representation"


Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



FREE Membership Cards - APOA Members



This month we will be distributing FREE Membership cards to all Prison Officers who have signed up to the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA).

Once you receive your card, please follow the instructions to register your card and membership number.

The card will include helpful guide on what to do and what not to do if you're invited to an interview.

"it's a whole new world of representation"

Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



Parker v Secretary Department of Education and Communities [2015] NSWIRComm 1020

Court Provided Information: WORKPLACE AND EMPLOYMENT LAW – Unfair dismissal – Jurisdiction – Dismissal – When resignation can be regarded as dismissal for purposes of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) – Constructive dismissal – Determination of whether a termination was in fact a constructive dismissal to be arrived at by a transactional analysis – Ultimatum provided – No negotiations after ultimatum provided – Dismissal – Jurisdiction lies.

LEGISLATION CITED: Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW)


Brian Newman said, "this is something we see far too often in today's workplaces. I was just talking to a client yesterday who was telling about her unfair dismissal circumstances and in part, there was a disturbing account of being threatened with criminal charges if she did not sign a 'form' acknowledging she had assaulted a coworker and that she was going to accept a first and final warning for the incident. This is utterly unacceptable that a worker should be placed in this situation. The assault never occurred, the worker didn't know her rights and now we hear about it far too late to be of any real assistance."

Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: 151111CA-5475

Transport Workers' Union (NSW) v Toll Transport Pty Ltd (t/as Toll Contract Logistics) [2015] NSWIRComm 36

Court Provided Information: EMPLOYMENT LAW – Contract of carriage – Application for reinstatement of contract – Applicable principles – Whether "harsh, unjust or unreasonable" – Unconfined discretion – Informed by subject matter, scope and purpose of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) – Serious misconduct as grounds for termination – Allegedly driving dangerously and unlawfully – Behaviour in breach of Road Rules 2014 (NSW) – Civil standard by virtue of nature of proceedings – Unlawful behaviour – Allegedly untruthful when questioned by management – Applicant was truthful as to knowledge of dashcam – Applicant was untruthful as to frequency and mode of use of horn – Whether damage or potential damage to respondent's reputation – Driving conduct could cause reputational damage to respondent – Broad submission that applicant being untruthful during investigation could lead to damage or potential damage to respondent's reputation – The Commission should not speculate on potential reputational damage to respondent in this manner – Failing to provide a satisfactory mitigating response – Applicant provided adequate opportunity to respond – Applicant not a credible witness – Justifiable basis for termination – Process of investigation was fair – Decision to terminate was reasonable and proportionate – Circumstances not harsh – Application dismissed.

LEGISLATION CITED: Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) s 140(2); Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) ss 314, 315; Road Rules 2014 (NSW) r 224


Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: 151112CA-0596

Whyalla Steelworks to Axe About 250 Jobs

ADELAIDE, Nov 16 AAP - About 250 jobs will be lost at Arrium's steelworks in Whyalla as the company seeks to cut costs.

The company says the jobs will go over the next six to eight months and will include about 200 workers employed directly by Arrium and up to 50 contractors.

It says all workers affected will receive their full entitlements, including redundancy payments and other services including counselling and help to find new work.

"All employees will be treated fairly and respectfully throughout this process," Arrium said on Monday.

The latest job cuts follow the loss of 55 positions last month and bring the company's identified savings to $60 million, still about $40 million short of its target.

It says the Whyalla operations continue to be put under pressure by a global oversupply of steel.

Chief executive of steel Steve Hamer says Arrium remains focused on reaching its savings target as quickly as possible and certainly by June next year.

But he has not indicated if that could mean more job losses.

"We remain committed to delivering a viable and competitive Whyalla business which benefits our stakeholders, including our local community and state," Mr Hamer said.

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said low world iron ore prices were to blame for the job losses.

"Terrible news for steel workers at Arrium in Whyalla today. If there was something we could do about international iron ore prices we would," Mr Koutsantonis tweeted on Monday.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.


Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: Ref: 151117CA-6756

Contractor Dies at WA Mine Site

PERTH, Nov 16 AAP - A 28-year-old man has died at a West Australian gold mine after becoming unwell, prompting work to be suspended at Paulsens Gold Mine in the Pilbara region.

In a statement provided to the ASX, Northern Star Resources Limited said it was assisting authorities in their investigation and confirmed no other workers were involved in the incident.

"Northern Star Directors, management and staff extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the man's family, friends and colleagues at this tragic time," the company said.

A Department of Mines and Petroleum spokeswoman told AAP two inspectors were expected to be sent to the mine on Monday afternoon.

A Police spokeswoman said the death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be prepared for a coroner.


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