Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dignity Not Drug Tests

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.

Fight 4 Facts!

It is one of the worst kept secrets in Australia that the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS) produces misleading unemployment and underemployment statistics. Even the former head of the ABS Bill McLennan has stated that ABS employment data “is not worth the paper they are written on”. Glenn Stevens, while Governor of the Reserve Bank, had similar concerns about the quality of unemployment data.

According to the ABS, Australians who work more than one hour are considered to be employed. This has allowed the Government to hide the true nature of of Australia’s growing employment crisis.

As part of the its Fight4Facts campaign, the AUWU will release monthly figures showing the true nature of Australia’s employment crisis. Our releases will coincide directly with the distorted and ideological picture of unemployment presented by the ABS.

Please share throughout your networks.

Current data:


2017 data:

May ratio
April ratio
April application data

March ratio
March application data

February ratio
February application data
February press release
February Fairfax article

Older data:


Newstart Vs Poverty Line

Fro the late 1970s onward (when the dole was made equal with the Henderson poverty line by the Whitlam Government), the dole has been sinking further and further below the poverty line. Today it is the worst it has ever been.


Below is a comparison of the current maximum rate of the dole (including rent assistance) with the current Henderson Poverty Line has calculated each quarter by the Melbourne Institute.

March 2016 Quarter

Henderson Poverty Line: $1049.78 per fortnight
Maximum Newstart Rate (including rent assistance): $658

$391.78 below the poverty line per fortnight


Your Rights Workshop (Melbourne)

Community Hub Room (Urban Communities), Ground Floor
Kensington Public Housing Estate
94 Ormond Road, Kensington, 3031
Snacks provided
Free, open to all
Hosted by Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU)

Find out
– why job agencies are not on your side
– what you can do about your job plan
– what you can do about your Work for the Dole placement
– how to fight back

Workshop Schedule
2:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Workshop: overview of your rights under the law, hear what other Newstart recipients are dealing with.

3:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Drop-in: no appointment necessary, one-on-one with an AUWU delegate. We can help you make the best of a bad situation. (Note: the AUWU does not offer legal advice.)

Getting there:
– Williamstown train to South Kensington Station, walk (about 200m): across Childers St, turn right, and walk along Ormond Road, up the hill keeping JJ Holland Park on your left. 94 is the tower just past a block of flats.

– bus 402 along Kensington Rd. to Derby St, walk (about 500m): south along Derby St, turn right into Ormond Rd.

What to do if you get cut off Newstart

If you are one of the many thousand of unemployed Australians who get cut off their Newstart, it is important that you ‘re-engage’ as quick as possible in order to get back on the payment and avoid losing money.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get back on the payment after you get cut off.

  1. Call the Centrelink Participation Team

    First you need to work out your problem with Centrelink.

    It is a common mistake for people to go to their job agency to work out your problem. However, job agencies are very untrustworthy and can give you incorrect information.

    By calling the Centrelink Participations Team on 1300 306 325 you can go over the head of your agency and work out the problem with Centrelink directly.

    In fact, the Centrelink Participation Team are required to call you to sort out the issue immediately after you get suspended from payment.

  2. Call your Job Agency to Reschedule a ‘Re-engagement’ Appointment

    In order to get back on the payment, you must be attending monthly appointments with your job agency. If you have not already got an appointment booked, call up your job agency and ask for them to reschedule a ‘re-engagement’ appointment.

    Remember you have the right to reasonable notice of at least 3 calendar days before the reschedule you, although you may want to attend the appointment as soon as possible if you are required to re-engage.

  3. Make a complaint (if applicable)

    We encourage all breached unemployed workers to make a complaint if they feel they have been unfairly penalised. Please click here for more information.

    We would also greatly appreciate it if you could send your stories to us so we can publicise the abuse of unemployed workers (anonymously) on our facebook and website.