The Guardian • Issue #2018


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2018

On the back of a decade of campaigning by unions for ten days paid family and domestic violence leave, the Albanese Government has introduced legislation to enshrine the right. Over the past decade, while successive Coalition Governments refused to support the leave, unions campaigned for, and won it in thousands of workplace agreements in all industries across the country. Enshrining the leave into the National Employment Standards will ensure that nearly every worker gets this entitlement, including casual and part-time workers. Access to the leave will save lives, it costs $18,000 on average to escape a violent relationship in Australia, as economic security is a key factor determining whether a person subjected to family or domestic violence can escape from a dangerous situation. At least one in four women have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of fifteen by a current or former intimate partner – a national crisis that has worsened during the pandemic.

Here’s a slice of the class struggle: Incredibly, despite its greater revenue-raising capacity, the Commonwealth has not contributed a single dollar in capital funding for NSW public schools since 2017. By contrast, private schools have access to a national capital fund worth $1.9 billion over a decade. In addition to this federal government capital funding, private schools across NSW have accessed more than $514 million as part of the State government’s Building Grants Assistance Scheme for Non-Government Schools between the 2017/18 and 2021/22 financial years. Given the fact that public schools enrol two thirds of students and enrolments in NSW, public schools are predicted to increase by 25 per cent within the next two decades, which include an increase of students with additional learning needs and disability, clearly a far greater capital commitment is crucial from the Commonwealth and NSW governments to public schools.

PARASITE(S) OF THE WEEK: The employers’ drive to cut wages (and increase already-sky high profits) has an eager-to-please enabler in the Albanese government. Listen to the chorus singing from the same songbook – Treasurer Jim Chalmers, “The harsh truth is households won’t feel the benefits of higher wages while inflation eats up wage increases.  […] the medicine is also tough to take – and millions of Australians with a mortgage are feeling that pain right now.” Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, “We can’t have a situation where wages start to chase inflation.” Business Council of Australia, “Wage rises without productivity (increased exploitation) would hold back the economy (profits).” Transurban, “Inflation and wages are spiralling and need to be brought under control.” But not the Greens’ Nick McKim, who said Chalmers had to be “more than the ashen-faced deliverer of bad news” and called for a super profits tax on resources companies.

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