Category Archives: Announcements

December Deluge: Senate Inquiry

We did it!

Back in May, the AUWU asked Greens Senator Rachel Siewert to investigate the government’s punitive and dysfunctional jobactive system. On Wednesday, the Senate agreed to the inquiry. Thank you Senator Rachel Siewert!​

Years of hard work by AUWU volunteers have paid off. This is a high-level investigation into the abuses and wastefulness of jobactive – a $7 billion privatised employment services system.

To mark this great victory, the AUWU is launching its December Deluge campaign. We are going to flood the Senate with submissions about the reality of ​jobactive.

Click here to tell the Senate your story. You have until 28 September 2018.

​This is a huge opportunity to shout loud and clear about how jobactive has impacted you or people you know. Finally, we will be heard.

Every story is vital!  If you have told your story before, tell it again.​ If you have not yet come forward with your story, now is the time.

You can submit anonymously if you wish.

Write up your experiences of jobactive in your own words. Write as much or as little as you like. Add whatever information you feel is appropriate.​​

Here are the terms of reference for the inquiry:

Please share this post throughout your networks.

Join the Deluge!

The AUWU takes a strong position on jobactive

“The level of abuse inflicted on unemployed workers by the Department’s jobactive system is a national disgrace and must be addressed immediately.”

The AUWU submission about the jobactive contract is now public! Click here to read it.

The 54-page submission which the AUWU made on behalf of unemployed and underemployed workers makes for inspiring reading!

No other organisation is taking such a stand against the institutionalised bullying of unemployed workers. The AUWU not only points out how and why the “employment services” system is broken. In this submission, you can also read about the AUWU’s positive alternative vision for an economy that is inclusive of all.

Have a read of this important document, and you will find out what the AUWU is all about, and why you are not alone when feeling beaten up by your job agency.

So what is this submission for? The Government is in the process of writing the new “jobactive” contract. This is the agreement that governs what happens between unemployed workers and caseworkers at job agencies.

We thank the many AUWU members who made individual submissions during the public consultation phase, and congratulate the AUWU Team on this excellent work!

Stay tuned, and stay united in keeping a close eye on what the government is preparing to dish up to unemployed workers.

Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union: fighting for dignified social security and employment!


Please direct debit from your account to the
BSB: 633 000
The AUWU is Australia’s only national organisation advocating by and for unemployed workers.
We rely entirely on our volunteers, and on contributions from supporters like you.

Make A Difference! Volunteer with the AUWU.

Are you fed up with Government and media bashing the unemployed?

Do you want a future where everyone has a right to dignified employment and social security?

The AUWU needs you!

Meet amazing people and get invaluable experience volunteering at Australia’s only organisation representing unemployed workers.

AUWU volunteers set their own hours, work mostly from home, and are supported by a team of coordinators. Our volunteers find helping unemployed workers deeply rewarding and appreciate being given the chance to learn new skills:

“What I like about volunteering with the AUWU is I get to try out roles I never had the opportunity to do before, plus I know my efforts contribute to making real change in the lives of Australians who are doing it hard”, AUWU member

Start your journey with the AUWU by looking through our list of vacant positions below. Simply click the group you would like to join, read more about the responsibilities of the role, and fill out a short online form to express your interest. An AUWU coordinator will contact you to discuss the roles you are interested in and help you with the training you need.

There are no requirements to volunteer, and all volunteers will be provided with a reference.

Vacant AUWU Positions

  • Advocacy Team
    Help unemployed people who need advice or are in distress. Be a part of the only national service dedicated to empowering people forced to deal with job agencies. Training provided. Positions include:

    • Advocacy Officer
    • Legal Officer
    • Research Officer
  • Campaigns Team
    From strategic planning to direct action, you can make a difference on these important issues. Positions include:

    • Forced Income Management Delegate
    • Job Agency Delegate
    • Newstart Delegate
    • Work for the Dole Delegate
  • Communications Team
    Write a press release, a newspaper article, or a social media post. Design a leaflet or poster. Get creative with memes, slogans, and more! Positions include:

    • Audio Visual Officer
    • Events Officer
    • Graphic Design Officer
    • Inclusion Officer
    • Media Officer
    • Newsletter Officer
    • Outreach Officer
    • Social Media Officer
    • Website Officer
  • Education & Training Team
    Develop and deliver our in-house and public training courses, info sessions, and reading group sessions. Capture and promote the knowledge base unique to the AUWU. Positions include:

    • Education Officer
    • Training Officer
    • Research Officer
  • Administration Team
    Keep the AUWU on track and running smoothly. Correspond with members and allied organisations. Attract and monitor funding. Help out with the day-to-day running of the organisation. Positions include:

    • Finance and Funding Officer
    • Grants Officer
    • Membership Officer
    • Volunteer Coordinator

Look forward to hearing from you!

AUWU Team.

My Health Record

The AUWU takes no position on the My Health system.

We encourage our members to make a decision based upon their individual circumstances.

Below is our recommended reading on the issue.

In a 27 July press release, ACOSS states: “we cannot support an Opt Out arrangement whilst it is clear that the current legislation is inadequate for protecting people’s basic privacy”.

Courier Mail article sounds a note of caution.

Very little is stopping My Health Record being hooked up to robo-debt — anyone who has felt the pain of a Centrelink “Robo-debt” will understand the concerns expressed here.

Government Digital Health Agency Flyer

Government Opt Out Information.

Visit the My Health Record website or call the My Health Record helpline on 1800 723 471, if you don’t want a record automatically created for you, by 15 October, 2018.


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?