Proud to be a union member

When I was at uni & going through the radical student stage, the only person who supported me during family dinner political discussions was my nan. My nan also taught me how to compost, how to make jam, how to make do & all about opshops. Nan believed passionately in the importance of family & in standing up for working people.

She saw herself as one of the ordinary people, not rich, not well educated but doing the right thing. I remember in particular, Nan explaining to me that Labour Day was really the eight hour day, celebrating eight hours work, eight hours rest & eight hours play. And that this was an important victory for working people, won through union struggle. I think she might have understood alot about work/life balance.

I am bothered by the Howard Goverment's industrial relations reform which erode the rights & conditions of workers, and particularly bothered by how it will affect those in low paid jobs. I think Sooz put it well in an eloquent post about what's happening to the Spotlight workers.  Also under threat are our rights to collective bargaining and fair resolution of industrial disputes. Not only are working conditions getting worse but our ability to fight back is going to get a lot harder. Read all the details here.

I'm in the process of negotiating my return to paid time paid employment. So far there have been no problems, but I've been on the phone to my union several times over the last couple of weeks with questions about my right to access part time hours after returning from maternity leave. This is not one of the five guaranteed minimum condition under the new legislation. I am so aware of how generous my working conditions are. Without them I wouldn't have had the option of time at home with Grace. The union has been very helpful about these & other questions. (No, I can't write about where I work on the internet because I might violate the APS code of conduct & lose my job. Sigh.) However, I feel that I know exactly where I stand. And that should issues arise at some point down the track, help is just a phone call away.


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