Which Party Will Retain Your Penalty Rates?

A Federal election is to be held on Saturday 2 July.

It is a secret ballot and it is your democratic right to vote for whichever political party you wish.

When you are considering how you will vote, you may wish to take into account the matter of Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

The majority of our members at some point work on a Sunday and/or a public holiday.

We are facing the second major attack on penalty rates in four years.

In 2012, employers’ groups launched a major case in the Fair Work Commission attacking our penalty rates.

At that stage, there was a Federal Labor Government. The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, made a substantial submission to the Fair Work Commission on behalf of the Government strongly supporting our penalty rates.

We won our case that time.

When the Federal Liberal Government was elected in 2013, a number of Liberal members came out publicly calling for the reduction or abolition of penalty rates.

The Federal Liberal Government pursued an attack on penalty rates by asking the Productivity Commission to review penalty rates.

Every experienced industrial observer knows that the Productivity Commission is a right-wing deregulationist body and that it would inevitably recommend slashing penalty rates.

Sure enough, the Productivity Commission recommended slashing penalty rates.

Its report has been used to support the employer case in the Fair Work Commission calling for penalty rates to be slashed.

Any decision will directly or indirectly affect members under awards and members under enterprise agreements.

If penalty rates are slashed, it will slash the take-home pay of SDA members and will be devastating for many SDA members who are low-paid workers.

A decision in the penalty rates case is not expected before the Federal election.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has promised that if he is elected and no decision has been handed down, the ALP in Government will make a submission to the Fair Work Commission supporting our penalty rates.

It is your democratic right to vote for whichever political party you wish, and it is a secret ballot.

If penalty rates are important to you, then you need to be aware that the Liberal Government has attacked penalty rates and the ALP in Government has supported penalty rates.