Author Archives: AUWU

AUWU’s employment services research project – Participants wanted!

For its annual hotline report, the AUWU is conducting research into the experiences of unemployed workers in Australia.

Together with our partners Monash University and Per Capita, we are looking to speak to unemployed workers across seven locations throughout July for approximately two hours. Participants will receive a $40 gift voucher.

If you would like to register your interest for any of the focus groups below, please click on the event you would like to attend to sign up. We will then be in contact with you with more information about the focus groups, including specific locations and times. All information provided will be de-identified.

List of Focus Groups

To qualify for the research, you have to consider yourself to be an unemployed worker.

This information gathered will form a central part of the AUWU’s efforts to reform the employment services industry over the next two years.​ There are limited spots available so get in quickly. Click here to share on facebook.

If you cannot attend a focus group but would like to participate in this important research, please fill out this testimonial survey​, send us a job agency inquiry​, or simply call our hotline with your concerns.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Block Roll-Out of Demerit Point System

On the 25th of June, the AUWU will launch its campaign to block the roll out of the government’s punitive Demerit Point System set to be introduced on 1 July 2018. As part of this campaign, the AUWU will distribute leaflets across the country providing unemployed workers with the tools they need to fight the harsh new compliance system.
Under this system, for the first time ever the government have given privately owned job agencies the authority to impose penalties without any government oversight and have stripped unemployed workers will have no right of appeal. Unemployed workers who are penalised four times by their job agencies within a six month period will face harsh new financial penalties, including 50% and 100% reduction of their Newstart entitlement. As these decisions will be made by Centrelink, unemployed workers can appeal these decisions.
Already the compliance system is broken. In 2015-16, there were 2 million penalties imposed on the unemployed for the first time. As noted by the National Welfare Rights Network, half of job agency penalties are imposed incorrectly. This harsh new system is designed to push unemployed workers off social security and into homelessness. We need to fight it. Help us Fight the Fine. Sign up to the Job Agency Action Group here and we will keep you updated on our activities:

Justice For Josh National Day of Action This Thursday!

This is the grave of Josh Park-Fing. 

In 2016, Josh was forced ride on the back of a flat bed trailer being pulled by a tractor without a harness. He fell off, hit his head, and died.

Next Thursday (19th of April) will mark two years since Josh tragically died at his Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba.
In collaboration with Josh’s father Iain, the AUWU are holding events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane demanding the government finally release the report into Josh’s death and shut down this dangerous and punitive program.

Please join us and help us send a clear message to the Coalition that we will not accept more Australians being forced to work for nothing at dangerous work sites.

RSVP for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane events below:

– Justice4Josh Melbourne –
3pm-7pm, Unitarian Peace Church , 110 Grey Street East Melbourne
Speakers include: Adam Bandt (Greens), Simeone Casey (Jobs Australia), Maddy Sutton (Turner Freeman Lawyers), Panel of Work for the Dole participants.
– Justice4Josh Sydney –
1pm-3pm, Martin Place, Sydney CBD
Speakers include: Ed Husic (ALP), Lee Rhiannon (Greens), Open Mike of Unemployed Workers
– Justice4Josh Brisbane –
2pm-3:30pm, Victoria Park, 545 Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill
Brisbane Rally will be presenting this petition to Grace Grace. See petition here

Justice For Josh Event: Memorial and Public Forum

On the 19th of April 2016, 18 year-old Josh Park Fing tragically died at his government-approved Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba. Josh was forced to rise on the back of a flat bed trailer without a harness. Josh fell off and died.

After Josh’s death, Minister of Employment Michaelia Cash promised to conduct an investigation and to publish a report within a month. Two years on and the Park-Fing family, Josh’s friends and the general public are still waiting for answers.

This year marks twenty years since Work for the Dole was first rolled out by the Howard government. As a society, we need to urgently reevaluate our commitment to Work for the Dole and ask the question – is this the way we want to treat our unemployed citizens?

Come along to this Forum to hear from politicians, legal experts, welfare sector representatives, job agencies and of course unemployed workers to learn more about Work for the Dole.

AUWU’s work for the dole survey results will also be released. If you have participated in WFTD, fill out our survey here.

Speakers Include:

Adam Bandt MP: Employment and Industrial Relations Spokesperson, The Greens
Mike Nelson: Occupational, Heath and Safety Expert
Micheal Smart: Work for the Dole Participant

Many more to be announced.


Unwaged: Free
Waged: $10
Solidarity: $20

All tickets sold at the door.

RSVP below.


Dodgy Text Message from Providers. Ignore it!

Have you received this text message from you job agency?

A number of our members have reported they received it recently. We got advice about what it could be referring to and at the time of writing there is no scheduled change to come in at that time.

It seems that the job agencies are using this text message to bully people into accepting unfair job plans.

We encourage all members to report this behaviour to the department by calling the customer service line on 1800 805 260