Professionals Australia – Quarterly message to members

Professionals having an impact

Professionals Australia represents a diverse range of professional occupations across Australia and many of you have indicated you’d like updates on the latest news from across our union.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the priority issues we have worked on over the past few months.  

Changing workplace culture and preventing discrimination at work

While recent events in the nation’s capital have resulted in long overdue discussion and proposed action to address sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace, our remuneration reports on professional scientists and information, communication and technology professionals reveal these issues are also of concern in these sectors.

As reported in the Australian Financial Review, for the first time our union is also taking steps to organise tech sector workers at Google, where workplace culture is one of the major concerns.

Blocking regressive workplace reforms

We are committed to protecting the wages, rights and entitlements of all our members, working across many industrial sectors. That’s why we stridently opposed the Federal Government’s proposed IR laws, which attacked fundamental workplace rights and increased job insecurity. 

As laid out in our submission to the Senate Inquiry, we believe that industrial relations reform in a post pandemic world must focus on delivering high quality, well-paid and secure jobs which put money back into local economies and provide certainty to employees.  Engaging in collective action with other unions, our members successfully persuaded cross bench Senators to reject four out of five of the regressive provisions contained in the bill. 

Improving workplace mental health

As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies the challenges of working from home and increased economic uncertainty, the mental health of Australians has come into much sharper focus. In our submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health, we outlined what needs to be done to improve workplace mental health for all Australian employees.

Raising the issue of low pay in pharmacy

In March, our Community and Hospital Pharmacists Remuneration Report put a spotlight on the low pay and poor working conditions in pharmacy. As we highlighted in the major News Ltd publications across Australia, pharmacy graduates are the lowest paid in Australia. We also identified the worst offenders in the discount pharmacy sector, who pay the lowest wages and deliver the worst working conditions for pharmacists.

Retaining skills in aviation

As Australia’s aviation sector battles the biggest crisis in its history, Professionals Australia appeared before an Australian Senate Inquiry to highlight the broken culture at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the importance of retaining vital skills in our aviation sector.

Not so super for women

To recognise the enormous contribution of female employees to our economy and community, we were proud to host two high profile panel discussions on Women’s Superannuation and Women’s Leadership in STEM to mark International Women’s Day.

As a result of these seminars, Professionals Australia has formed a Gender and Diversity Network to continue to advance priority issues for female members. Click here to join the Gender and Diversity network.

Campaigning for engineer registration in NSW

Professional Engineers Australia continued the push for engineer registration in NSW with a letter to the NSW Minister for Better Regulations and a major story reported across the Nine newspaper network.

Continuing our campaign against privatisation

Many of you in South Australia would be aware of our long-term and successful campaign to stop the privatisation of SA Pathology. More recently, in Tasmania, Professionals Australia joined a coalition of other unions to stand up for jobs and against privatisation at Hydro Tasmania as reported in the Hobart Mercury.

We hope this information has provided further insight into some of the issues we are addressing for our members.

Once again, thank you for your commitment and support. 

Jill McCabe
Professionals Australia