Category Archives: Announcements

jobactive 2020: Tell them to stop the abuse.

AUWU members are hammering the panel review of the jobactive contract (details below). Our members and allies are standing up for themselves and other unemployed workers. Truly inspiring! Check it out here.

Tell them to stop the abuse. Tell them we want real jobs and real services.

Something pretty big is in the works. And it is going to affect the lives of unemployed workers for years to come.

A window of opportunity is cracked open, allowing us unemployed workers to have a voice. Let’s throw this thing wide open!

Tell the government what you think should be in the “jobactive” contract!

You have until 3rd August, 2018. Read more… or go straight to this link.


So what’s going on?

The government is in the process of writing the next contract by which it will purchase “employment services” from businesses and non-profits.

The current 2015-2020 “jobactive” contract, as we know, is a bargain at $10 billion dollars. Or, it is possibly the single most wasteful and harmful expenditure in the history of Australia.

When you or a loved one is interacting with a job agent or caseworker, the “jobactive” contract calls the shots.

The “jobactive” contract comes up for renewal in 2020, and already an “Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel” is hard at work rewriting it.

These hardworking folk include Matt O’Sullivan, who advised the Turnbull government on the trial of the cashless welfare card.

Another notable is Allan McCallum, chairman of the Tasmanian salmon farming company Tassal. Tassal featured in an October 2016 episode of Four Corners about environmental destruction caused by salmon farming. In 2017, the Environmental Protection Authority identified 14 non-compliance issues by the company — perhaps the “expert” panel has special insight when it come to compliance for unemployed workers.

This panel of experts is now calling for submissions. We have until 3rd August, 2018. Tell the panel what you think real employment services should look like!

The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) is also making a submission, based on serious research.

The Panel’s Terms of Reference include, “Effectively tailoring mutual obligation and compliance strategies”. The AUWU believes compliance strategies can only be abusive when there are not enough jobs (ABS figures show about 16 job seekers for every job). The AUWU also believes compliance strategies can only be abusive when “employment services” get their money by using their power to force people into unsuitable activities.

The Panel has already written a discussion paper which includes all sorts of fun compliance cattle prods to “activate” unemployed workers.

Write to them now!

Let them know the current system is broken, is a waste of money, and doesn’t help unemployed people. Let them know we want real jobs not fake jobs, real education not fake training, real services not abuse and “activation”. Let them know the only way to achieve this is to make all mutual obligations voluntary!

Write to them now!

Already, they have started an “Online Employment Services Trial.” They think they can save money by making unemployed workers do everything online. Too bad if you can’t afford the data connection. Too bad if you have bad internet service. Too bad if “the computer says no”.

Write to them now!

Got to this website page and click on their “join the conversation” link.

They really want to hear from you. They are NOT taking submissions by email. So you have to fill in their online form, answer or leave blank a bunch of questions, then upload the file where you wrote your own statements.

Or, send them a letter, now.

Future Employment Services Consultation

Active Labour Market Assistance Branch
Department of Jobs and Small Business
GPO Box 9880

We can’t wait to hear back from them, can you?

July Dates: “Dump Your Demerits” Info Sessions


In July the AUWU is holding six free events across five states to inform unemployed workers how to fight back against the government’s new punitive Demerit Point system.

We have booked a terrific line-up of speakers for each event, and you can pick up free leaflets and booklets about how to resist. Click on the facebook event links to find out more about each session.

Under this unfair new system, unemployed workers attending job agencies will be stripped of their rights to appeal job agency penalties, and harsher fines will be introduced for non-compliance.

Unemployed workers will be able to have our demerit points reset to zero at several stages within the complicated demerit point system. RSVP to your local event below, and learn how to Dump Your Demerits.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing tips on how to resist the abuse.


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.

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.