Events in the past few months show we can change the rules if we work hard together!

Queensland Unions have been working to make Queensland a fairer – and better – place to live and work.

New laws to license labour hire operators, a ban on 100 percent FIFO operations, and industrial manslaughter legislation to crack down on dodgy bosses who operate unsafe workplaces are three significant achievements in recent months.

The State Labor Government delivered these new laws after persistent union campaigning.

Real and lasting change for working Queenslanders comes after listening to members and their unions and effectively planning to achieve these wins.

That was the aim of five QCU Regional Congresses – finishing with a major state Congress in Brisbane – held through June.

Representatives at those Congress meetings identified job creation and insecure employment as critical issues in the next state election, and into the future.

Unions have also been leading on other fronts – aged care, safety on public transport, resourcing in tertiary education, protecting penalty rates, banning 100 percent FIFO in regional areas, as well as fighting to improve wages and conditions in workplaces across the state.

We continue to take on a federal government fixated on giving free kicks to the big end of town through a failure to crack down on wage theft and tax cuts for big corporations, all while wages growth stagnates at record low levels.

Queensland Unions are also urging union members to make sure they vote “yes” in the marriage equality postal survey being held this month. That’s because equality is union business!

We’ll keep working to change the rules to make sure Queenslanders and their families get a fair go.


Ros McLennan
General Secretary, Queensland Council of Unions

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WIN – Queensland first state with labour hire licensing laws

Queensland is now the first Australian state with mandatory licensing for labour hire operators after union-backed laws passed State Parliament last week. Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said regulating the labour hire industry was necessary to stamp out those rogue operators engaging in massive wage theft from vulnerable workers. Delegates and members […]

WIN – Unions welcome new laws to create offence of industrial manslaughter

Queensland unions have welcomed the state government’s move to create the new offence of industrial manslaughter to deter negligent employers who operate unsafe workplaces. The new offence is one of 58 recommendations from a wide-ranging review into workplace deaths, to which unions made numerous submissions. Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said this […]

FIGHT – Secure jobs must be centrepiece of election campaign

Queensland unions will fight on the battleground of secure jobs after statewide workers’ forums endorsed this election campaign focus at a final Congress meeting in Brisbane in June. Union members, delegates and leaders identified job creation and insecure employment in regional communities as critical to building a better future for all Queenslanders as the state […]

FIGHT – Big Steps gains ground in pay fight

More than 3,000 educators in Queensland and across the country stopped work on 7 September in what is the largest early education walk-off in Australia’s history. They took this big step in their fight for equal pay, calling on the Government to value every child and every educator. They received amazing support from the community […]

FIGHT – Unions urge members to tick yes in marriage poll

Queensland Unions are urging members to vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming marriage equality postal survey. Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan described the postal survey as “an unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money” but said now that the survey was happening unions would be working to ensure a successful ‘yes’ result. Queensland Unions participated […]

FIGHT – Council employees drive for improvement on safety and security

Unions covering Brisbane City Council workers continue to focus on safety and security issues in the face of Council misinformation about enterprise bargaining. The dispute has dragged on for months, as the LNP controlled Brisbane City Council holds out, refusing to come to the table for meaningful negotiations. At the time of publication, the dispute […]

WIN – Regional centres back on track after union campaign

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has notched up another big win for their Save Our Jobs, Save Maryborough community campaign. After workers at Maryborough’s manufacturing facility Downer secured a $200 million package of work from the Queensland Government, this week the Premier and Deputy Premier announced the facility has been selected as the preferred tenderer […]

WIN – Indigenous work recognised in annual Awards

The contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to their unions was recognised again this year in a major feature of the union calendar – the Dr Robert (Uncle Bob) Anderson Award. Union efforts in the progression and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly among members, workers and communities, in social justice activities, […]

WIN – Emma Miller Awards celebrate excellence

On the first day of Spring – September 1 – the Emma Miller Awards were held to celebrate committed grass roots union members rising up to grow and strengthen our union movement. As QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan said during her welcome speech: “It’s pretty special that, one hundred years after her death that labour […]

FIGHT – Education employers learn nothing from years of fair agreements

Education appears to be the next battleground for industrial rights, with unions fighting hard to protect wages and conditions of their members in education institutions across the state. The Independent Education Union – Queensland and NT Branch is acting for employees of an independent school with a number of sites across the state, which wants […]

WIN – ETU members show collective power in fight to retain family friendly roster

Locked out Brisbane City Council electricians are back at work after management backed down on threats to introduce family unfriendly rostering in a new enterprise bargaining agreement. Twenty-five traffic signal electricians were locked out of work without pay by Council for several weeks in May and June. The workers had taken industrial action after Council […]

WIN – Regional centres welcome ban on 100% FIFO

Major mining companies operating in Queensland have been banned from flying in 100 per cent of their workforce. The Palaszczuk Labor Government introduced laws in the late August sitting of Parliament banning FIFO, meeting an election commitment to review the practice. Unions and regional communities have been fighting for a ban on 100 per cent […]

FIGHT – Unions refuse to back down and jeopardise community services

Revival of a classic game show in downtown Townsville highlights the winners and losers from the Turnbull LNP government’s $65 billion tax cut to big business. Members of the Townsville public played “Community Jeopardy” choosing who between a nurse, teacher or weather forecaster they would discard so big business can have its tax cuts. Queensland […]

FIGHT – Unions expand front in battle to protect penalty rates

Unions continue their battle to protect penalty rates, as the first pay cuts start to bite into workers’ wages. United Voice continues to campaign in the community clubs area, while Professionals Australia launched actions at cut price chemist chains to highlight the impact of wage cuts. Many Queensland unions also spread the message at the […]

FIGHT – QNMU fights cuts to aged care in Bundaberg

Profits are being placed before lives in aged care facilities and it’s often the public system left to foot the bill. The Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union are calling on all levels of government and the community to get behind ensuring aged care providers were held accountable. The QNMU continues to stand against providers putting […]