Category Archives: Announcements

Tell Your Story!

To fight the government punitive approach to the unemployed, it is important that the voices of unemployed people are heard. The AUWU is currently collecting stories from unemployed people about their experiences with job agencies with the aim of releasing a report next year exposing this broken and inhumane system

Please fill out this 5 minute survey and join the fight against this punitive system.

#CallOutCash Campaign Launched

Last month, Minister Cash labelled the AUWU an “offensive” organisation “whose sole purpose appeared to be “keeping members out of gainful employment and encouraging them to shirk their responsibilities”.

Cash did not offer any proof of this. It appears she just wanted to bully us because we are unemployed people trying to stand up for ourselves.

Today we a hitting back with our #CallOutCash campaign.

As part of this campaign, we are asking all our members and supporters to #CallOutCash by filling out a short 2-minute survey about their experiences of unemployment. The answers will be collated and sent to Minister Cash and her parliamentary colleagues .

To complete the survey, click here.

Its time Minister Cash was held accountable for her bullying tactics.

Despite there being 17 job seekers competing for every job vacancy going by the official figures, Minister Cash still treats unemployed workers like we are the problem.

It is time we let Cash know that the Coalition government is the problem.

Why aren’t they creating more jobs? Why are they handing $10 billion of government money to private companies who fail to help unemployed workers? Why are they condemning unemployed workers to a life of poverty on a payment that is $380 per fortnight per fortnight below the poverty line?

Please share throughout your networks and lets send Minister Cash a clear message.

Ed Husic: Establish Senate Inquiry Into Job Agencies

The AUWU is petitioning Ed Husic, the shadow Minister of employment services, to establish a Senate inquiry into the broken job agency system. Please click here to view and sign the petition.

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Why is this important?

The $10 billion employment services system is one of the biggest and most socially destructive rorts ever perpetuated against a Federal government

Every day, private job agencies bully unemployed workers into attending dangerous Work for the Dole sites and other unfair activities in order to make a quick buck.

Unemployed workers who refuse to be bullied into one of these unfair activities are penalised.

During 2015/16, job agencies imposed a record 2,114,291 million penalties on unemployed workers – up from 311,622 in 2011.

Many penalties are unfair – 37.5% of unemployed workers who appealed against a penalty had it overturned by Centrelink. Since 2011, the rate of job agency decisions overturned by Centrelink has increased by 15% – a clear sign the system is broken.

The failure of the government to regulate the industry and penalise abusive job agencies has created a culture of fear and intimidation throughout the industry.

The suffering endured by the 900,000 unemployed workers participating in this system is incalculable

The tragic death of Josh Park Fing at his Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba – one of the 64% of WFTD sites that do not meet basic safety standards – is a product of this punitive and broken system.

The punitive job agencies system must be addressed immediately.

A Senate inquiry is the first step. The ALP has the power to make this happen.

Click here to sign the petition.

Right2Work Conference Give Away!

The AUWU has 5 tickets to give away to AUWU members for the Right2Work Conference in Melbourne on 21 July (valued at $25 each).

To win a ticket, write a letter to Minister Cash at explaining how the Coalition’s failure to address the employment crisis has affected you.

Post your letter on your facebook or twitter with the #Right2Work hash tag.

The Right2Work conference features renowned experts John Falzon (St Vincent De Paul), Jim Stanford (Australian Institute), Warwick Smith (Per Capita) and Steve Keen (economist) who will discuss Australia’s employment crisis and how the government should address it.

The best five letters will win a ticket. Winners will be announced on Monday 17th of July.

Jobactive Directory

If your job agency is treating you badly and not respecting your rights, its important that you fight back.

When you write to your job agency to assert your rights, it is important that your job agency is not able to sweep your issue under the carpet.  That is why it is important to send this letter to the top brass at your job agency.

Click here for a complete collection of all the publicly available contact details of all the most powerful people at job agencies.

Find the CEO of your job agency and email them!

PaTH and CDP Guidelines

The Coalition government have released guidelines about the PaTH program and the Community Development Program (CDP).

These guidelines state the rights of unemployed workers. The Coalition, however, does not make these rights easily accessible. The AUWU will be summarising these guides shortly and making them available in our unemployed workers rights guideline.

In the meantime, they are available here

Dignity Not Drug Test Campaign Launch

In its 2016-2017 Budget, the Turnbull Government announced its plans to give Centrelink new powers to harass, humiliate, and financially penalise social security recipients. As part of the latest round of cruel attacks, the Turnbull government wants to:
• drug test social security recipients and penalise those who refuse
• give Centrelink more powers to financially penalise the unemployed
• force more people onto the Cashless Welfare system
• make it harder to get on the single parent pension
• sack over 1000 Centrelink staff and privatise call centre operations
• kick people with drug and alcohol issues off the Disability Support Pension
These measures are part of a broader attempt to effectively cripple our social security system. The result is the current mess: an overworked staff, inability to provide basic services, absurd call-waiting times, 36 million unanswered calls in 2016, not to mention the ‘robo-debt’ debacle, which saw tens of thousands of Australians defrauded by their own government!
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Turnbull is deliberately trying to make collecting social security as difficult and humiliating as possible. He wants us to feel like criminals for accepting assistance that is our legal right, assistance that is already so meagre it fails to keep us above the poverty line.
Rather than investing in job-creation, Turnbull wants to grind us down with cruel measures that punish the vulnerable, the victims of poor public policy.
Our social security system is being purposefully defunded, privatised, and dismantled; the poor and vulnerable are being criminalised and trampled upon.
Fight back by joining the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union’s Dignity Not Debt leafleting Campaign.
If you are able to print the leaflet, please click here to download it (this booklet is designed to printed on one folded A4 sheet (allowing four A5 pages of  text). Click on the pdf link above to print your booklet)
If you cannot print the leaflet, please contact the AUWU at and we will send you the leaflet in the mail.

Join our new online groups!

Join our new online groups (at! These groups provide our members a direct and convenient way to get involved. If you would like to connect with other AUWU members near you, follow this link and leave a comment on your local branch’s page to express your interest.

Or, if you would like to assist with the AUWU’s national tasks, please join one of our three Working Groups:

Advocacy (click to join)

  • operating national AUWU Advocacy Service
  • staffing hotline in shifts from any location
  • respond to email queries
  • presenting rights workshops
  • developing case studies for media
  • coordinating legal challenge against Centrelink
  • lobbying government for regulation of jobactive/DES/CDP programs
  • coordinating workshops

    To learn about our advocacy work, click here to sign up to our free online advocacy course!

Communications (click to join)

  • producing campaign materials (leaflets, posters, video, radio)
  • producing media content (Fightback! (our quarterly newsletter), media releases, interviews, news articles, blogs)
  • website management
  • social media management
  • political lobbying and alliances
  • petition writing

Campaigns/Strategy (click to join)

  • national campaign priorities
  • developing and executing campaigns (from demands list)
  • organising protests

The AUWU only survives because volunteers dedicate their time to the cause – we receive no funding and have no affiliations. Whether you prefer to be on the streets or behind the scenes, whether you like to “do” or to organise, we hope you find a way of contributing to the AUWU that suits you. We look forward to working with you.