Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4289 ..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

change not only caused havoc for family responsibilities but also jeopardised the other jobs. When annual leave required simultaneous approval from three employers, it was easy to see why she never enjoyed a real holiday.

Whether it be issues as specific as this or just the general understanding of how meaningless employment conditions become unless they are enforced, trade unionists bring an essential perspective to this place.

Tony goes on to talk about trade unionism, which is not relevant to this particular debate; but of course it will be debated at another time. I also would refer to my own experiences, but I would say that what Tony has said there is powerful. It also informs the debate in terms of how difficult it is to actually balance a multitude of jobs.

When I was working for the Australian Services Union, I worked in a number of places and represented members in a number of places that had casual workers. Two of the biggest places I represented were ACTTAB and Auscript, and I learnt a lot from the mainly female work force in those places about how they were not treated on an equal footing.

Mrs Burke has talked about casualisation and said that people out there want flexibility between working hours and family responsibilities. That is true; that is definitely true. But casual employees do not get to choose their hours. They do not get to choose when they do the work. The hours are always at the employer's discretion.

Mrs Burke: Of course.

MS MacDONALD: Mrs Burke says, "Well, of course; that is the way it should be."

Mrs Burke: No, I did not say that.

MS MacDONALD: Well, Mrs Burke, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say that it is flexible for the employee and that that is what they want-the balance between work and family-when it is actually not them getting to choose the flexibility.

Mrs Burke: You're out of touch.

MS MacDONALD: No, I am not out of touch on this issue, Mrs Burke.

Mr Stanhope: You just have a slight conflict of interest as an exploitative employer, I think, Mrs Burke.

Mrs Burke: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. In accord with standing order 55 relating to personal imputation, I ask the Chief Minister to withdraw that.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Stanhope.

Mr Stanhope: I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Ms MacDonald, direct your comments through the chair.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .