Australian workers will be worse off under IR Omnibus Bill Australian workers who have sacrificed so much during the pandemic are going to be deeply affected by the Morrison Government’s proposed changes to industrial relations legislation, a senate inquiry into the IR Omnibus Bill will hear next week.The ACTU’s submission to the senate inquiry states that the changes will not only harm workers, but will hurt Australia’s post-pandemic economic recovery.Across three hearings in Townsville, Adelaide and Canberra, union members will provide their lived experience as evidence of the harmful impacts this bill will have on their lives.The ACTU’s main concerns with the IR Omnibus Bill include but are not limited to: making it easier for employers to casualise jobs that would have otherwise been permanent, making bargaining for better pay and conditions more difficult than it already is, allowing wage cuts, taking rights off blue collar workers on big projects, and weakening wage theft punishments in jurisdictions where it was already deemed a criminal act.The bill will also allow the Fair Work Commission to approve agreements that do not pass the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) meaning workers could be significantly worse off, even though exemptions for exceptional circumstances already exist for businesses that are struggling to recover from the pandemic-related recession.Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus,“As we have consistently said, we will not support a bill that leaves workers worse off.“The workers that will be most hurt by this bill are the ones that helped get this country through a once-in-a-century crisis: cleaners, delivery drivers, supermarket workers. They deserve job security and respect.“These laws will harm our economic recovery, they are a recipe for keeping wages low and jobs insecure.“As all working people know; bargaining with employers for better pay and conditions is already difficult enough. Australian workers are suffering from years of wage stagnation, and that is not the way to lead this country to economic recovery.“The rate of casualisation of our workforce desperately needs to be addressed. This bill will make the problem worse.“If this bill cannot be fixed, it needs to be dumped.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:ACTU, Adelaide, Australia, Australian, Canberra, Commission, fair work, Fair Work Commission, Government, job security, legislation, Morrison, Morrison Government, supermarket, Townsville, wage theft
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A recently announced five-year $1.92 million federal grant renewal will fund a program at Flathead Valley Community College that provides comprehensive academic support to selected first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities.The TRIO Student Support Services program at FVCC provides a wide range of services to roughly 350 degree-seeking students annually, including tutoring, mentoring, personal and academic career counseling, financial literacy and more.FVCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Chris Clouse said she’s “proud of the outstanding TRIO program that our student support team has created.”“It directly impacts the lives of so many deserving students,” Clouse added. “TRIO provides students with information, training and coaching to navigate the college landscape and chart a path to personal and academic success.”The five-year funding period for the U.S. Department of Education grant started on Sept. 1. Leslie Greene, the new director of FVCC’s TRIO program, said the nationwide competition to secure the grant is competitive, and FVCC’s ability to once again be selected is “quite an accomplishment” in itself.“To win the grant shows our dedication to students,” Greene said. “The fact that we’ve done extremely well with the program has helped us to obtain it.”Greene noted that navigating the college landscape and process is tricky for anybody, let alone first-generation students whose parents don’t have college experience.“If you’re a first-generation college student, you typically don’t have role models who have traveled that path, too,” Greene said. “You hear a lot of terminology that is brand new to you. We help students interpret and gain that college knowledge.”Students from low-income backgrounds without financial resources, as well as those with disabilities, face their own unique challenges as well. Some may fit two or all three of the criteria: students who are first-generation, low-income and have disabilities.The TRIO program provides intensive academic advising and tutoring, as well as classes that teach college success skills free of charge. The program also helps the students to find and apply for scholarships and student aid in a timely fashion, clarify and reach their goals, and more.“A lot of times students don’t know the services that are available to them,” Greene said.TRIO squad leaders have a meeting at Flathead Valley Community College on Sept. 11, 2020. The TRIO Student Support Services program provides academic support to selected first generation, low-income college students and/or students with disabilities. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon“Once they’re in the program,” she continued, “we serve them throughout their time at FVCC to make sure they have all the support they need. We help them navigate the process from start to graduation to help them get their college degree.”Will Richards, FVCC’s assistant director of occupational trades and a TRIO adviser, oversees the TRIO mentoring program, which trains and pays student mentors to guide TRIO participants. Mentors touch base with TRIO students regularly and invite them to weekly in-person socially distanced meetings.“The mentors are all about connections, whether connecting with services or other people,” Richards said.On a commuter campus like FVCC, it’s easy for students to go straight to classes and then return home without interacting with many people. Remote classes and an emphasis on physical distance only add to the sense of communal detachment.“I work in the occupational trades building, and there are a lot of students who never leave this building and venture to other places,” Richards said.The weekly gatherings, which mentors organize with individual squads of 10-12 TRIO participants, foster social interaction and meaningful connections, which are always important but even more so in this age of pandemic isolation.Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a globally recognized authority on the relationship between isolation and health, was a virtual guest speaker during FVCC’s TRIO mentor leadership training this summer. Holt-Lunstad’s expertise meshed neatly with the mentors’ overall mission of community-building and nurturing interactions that can potentially detect, as Richards describes it, “small things before they become big things.”Examples include students who realize a course isn’t a good fit but are unaware they can drop it with a full refund within the first week; students whose academic struggles could be remedied before they go down the course of failing the class; or students experiencing feelings of isolation and anxiety that could build up to dangerous levels without someone noticing and intervening.“We know there’s a correlation between social isolation and mental health, and physical health — that’s been well documented,” Richards said, pointing to the benefits of the mentor-guided TRIO gatherings. “A lot of time it’s just the social interaction of doing something fun and laughing once a week that’s important.”Greene has worked with TRIO for 25 years and “can attest to the fact that it really does work.” She’s seen countless success stories.“A lot of students start out with a class hoping maybe they surprise themselves and find out that, yes, they do have what it takes to get a college education and that there are support services,” she said. “It’s quite amazing to witness. They achieve a degree and accomplish their college goals that for a lot of students may have seemed out of reach.”
Critics charge that sanctions are ineffectual, hurt innocent civilians and undercut the business interests of countries imposing the measures.The US Treasury Department’s efforts since 2005 to use financial tools to pressure North Korea and Iran generated considerable skepticism, particularly in Europe. But the results to date suggest that ‘smart sanctions’, meaning targeted financial measures work if used strategically and coupled with outreach to global financial institutions. Executive Order 13,382 empowered the US Treasury Department to take enforcement action against proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, which it duly did against Iran and North Korea in June 2005. In all, 15 Iranian and ten North Korean entities have been designated under this order. Among them were Iran’s state-owned Bank Sepah, which provided financial services to the ballistic missile programme. The treasury also cut off Iran’s Bank Saderat from the US financial system for its role in financing terrorists and used Section 311 of the Patriot Act against the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia, identifying the bank as a “primary money-laundering concern” for facilitating North Korea’s illicit activity. The results have been promising. Many non-US financial institutions and companies reduced or terminated commercial ties with Iran and early last year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development raised its risk-rating for Iran. Months later the Iranian oil minister had to acknowledge that Iran was having trouble financing oil projects. Of these financial measures, the action against the Banco Delta Asia had the most dramatic impact. Macau’s subsequent freezing of nearly €19 million in BDA accounts clearly rattled the North Koreans. It became a major sticking point in the six-party talks, with North Korea refusing to return to the table until the money was returned. North Korea’s anxiety was understandable: by late 2006 some two-dozen financial institutions around the world were reported to have reduced or cut their ties with North Korea. The targeted financial measures employed by the treasury in recent years have several advantages over traditional sanctions. First, they can narrowly target entities or individuals specifically engaged in dangerous or illicit activity. Second, they are designed to be regime-hostile and people-friendly – causing economic harm to the entities designated, but not the civilian population. Third, by using them in a graduated fashion, numerous opportunities are given to the target countries to alter their behaviour before further measures are imposed. This strategy of targeting illicit conduct rather than countries is gradually winning support. The UN Security Council’s recent resolutions on Iran, for example, reinforced the treasury’s efforts by listing many of the same entities it had designated and obliging member states to freeze their assets. The measured approach has also played well with European financial institutions, a number of which have taken action well beyond their legal obligations. Targeted financial measures have proved to be an effective middle ground between diplomacy and military action, giving leverage in cases where none seemed possible and may represent the international community’s best chance to change decision-making in Tehran and Pyongyang.Michael Jacobson is a senior fellow in the Stein Programme in terrorism, intelligence and policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was formerly a senior adviser in the US Treasury’s office of terrorism and financial intelligence.
Seventeen-year-old Dowling hails from Bedminster and is a lifelong fan of his local club. He has been coming to Ashton Gate since the age of six and joined the Academy soon after.The midfielder was named as a substitute for the first time in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Huddersfield Town, before his big moment arrived in the 70th minute.“On Friday I got told I was in the squad, then on Saturday I got told I was on the bench, and then I managed to get myself on,” an excitable Dowling told Bristol City Player HD.“I’m absolutely buzzing. It’s the best day of my life so far – a dream come true.“I’ve been here since I was six, so to get the opportunity to make my debut is an unbelievable feeling.“It’s surreal. When I got told yesterday I was in the squad, I didn’t know what to do.“I’ve always had a season ticket and then I would use the free tickets we’d get given (from the Academy), but to actually play is just unbelievable.“After the second goal went in, I saw the gaffer look at me and I knew it was going to happen.“I was nervous, but as soon as I got to the side of the pitch it was more excitement because I could hear the fans cheering.“Once I got that initial first touch out of the way I felt I grew into the game and got more confident.”Dowling joined fellow Academy graduates Scott Golbourne, Joe Bryan and Zak Vyner on the field of play, having replaced another in the form of fellow Bristolian Bobby Reid.“That’s my motivation – to copy what they’ve done and hopefully get more and more appearances,” he added.“Zak has definitely pushed me on this year, along with the rest of the Under-21 team – training with the first team like he does and to have got the appearances that he has this season.”