5 – Work & Families

Work and Families

A Community Plan should include the purpose: to understand the realities of work-place wages and conditions for Central Coast workers, and therefore research, monitor and record throughout the Central Coast, in partnership with the Independent Member for Robertson and relevant other authorities (e.g. Fair Work Commission; Human Rights Commission; NSW Anti-discrimination Board), with a view to increasing the family income of residents to at a decent level. Recognising that stressed and impoverished families are prevented from participating in the local economy and social fabric of the community.

Research would look into the provision of:

a. Award, and above-Award wages and conditions of employment

b. Workplace policies which are non-discriminatory and free of sexual harassment, nepotismand/or bullying.

Elements/Actions:

5.1. Local Community Governance

5.1.1 As the Member for Robertson I will appoint, throughout my first year, a full-time “Work & Families Researcher-and-Advocate” and thereafter a part-time officer, to undertake the duties outlined in this section.

5.2. Central Coast Council:

5.2.1. Every quarter, Council should, in collaboration with the Independent Member for Robertson, sample a different category of worker to collect data and, with the university sector, analyse the data for:

* unviable businesses running only because they pay under-Award wages

* incidence of illegal below-Award wages

* incidence of over-Award hours

* incidence of unpaid hours

* incidence of perceived workplace intimidation, discrimination, nepotism.   

IN THE EVENT THAT COUNCIL IS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING, TO COLLECT SUCH DATA, THEN I UNDERTAKE TO ASK MY ‘WORK & FAMILIES RESEARCHER-AND-ADVOCATE’ TO DO SO.

5.2.2. At least annually, possibly in collaboration with local media, Council should, in collaboration with the Independent Member for Robertson, organise a public forum[s] aimed at listening to issues from workers, their families, pensioners, and local business with a view to providing Council and the media with insights into common barriers and difficulties experienced by the community.

IN THE EVENT THAT COUNCIL IS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING, TO SUCH A CONSULTATIVE FORUM, THEN I UNDERTAKE TO ASK MY ‘WORK & FAMILIES RESEARCHER-AND-ADVOCATE’ TO DO SO.

5.2.3 Council should, in collaboration with the Independent Member for Robertson, review its employment protocols with a view to becoming a ‘best practice’ employer in this region, exhibiting high levels of efficiency and output, employee satisfaction, and employee loyalty. Employees will have high expectations of the employer Council, just as Council will have high expectations of its employees.

5.2.4 Council will ensure that any tenders for providing Council services [eg waste collection] contain Council requirements which acknowledge relevant pre-existing Enterprise Agreements and reasonable opportunity for flexible staffing [such as an 80-20 split between full-time and casual jobs].

5.3. NSW Government:

5.3.1. Each quarter, Council should, in collaboration with the Independent Member for Robertson provide NSW Government and the media with depersonalised data and analysis based on its research.

IN THE EVENT THAT COUNCIL IS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING, TO PROVIDE SUCH DATA AND ANALYSIS, THEN I UNDERTAKE TO ASK MY ‘WORK & FAMILIES RESEARCHER-AND-ADVOCATE’ TO DO SO.

5.4. Federal Government:

5.4.1. Each quarter, Council should, in collaboration with the Independent Member for Robertson provide the Federal Government and the mass media with data and analysis based on its research.

IN THE EVENT THAT COUNCIL IS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING, TO PROVIDE SUCH DATA AND ANALYSIS, THEN I UNDERTAKE TO ASK MY ‘ FAMILIES WORK & RESEARCHER-AND-ADVOCATE’ TO DO SO.

This policy is largely derived from the Community Plan Central Coast and it’s policy section Workers & Families.

The sections in blue indicate my immediate focus and priorities .