Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Australia-StandUp : Privatised Welfare.

StandUp is an organisation for unemployed in Sydney. This report shows what can happen when employment services are contracted out to private providers-something the Welfare Working Group wants to happen here.

Xmas. No joy for us

Christmas is supposed to be the festive season when everyone eats, drinks and parties. The problem is that we can’t afford to. It is difficult enough for us to survive on what we get, let alone have a party. Some of us will be doing work for the dole. You don’t work for the dole on public holidays but apart from Christmas , Boxing and New Years Day many work for the dole schemes continue over what’s called the holiday period. You don’t really get a holiday on the dole. It is tough on us. It is tough on children who expect presents and don’t understand why Santa comes to their friends and not to their place. It is hard to survive with the little money we get. It is even harder to have fun! StandUp! believes that everyone deserves a living wage. The government believes in unemployment. They say that even with their “economic responsibility” the rate of unemployment will only drop to 4.5%. Currently it is five percent. That will still mean hundreds of thousands out of work.

Standup believes we will need a wage rise. Thanks to our low pay it is a struggle to pay the bills or the rent. For some it’s a struggle to get enough to eat. Of course, you can’t afford a decent Christmas! At the moment we suffer in silence. The fact is that neither of the major parties believe in giving us an adequate allowance. In no way will there be full employment. StandUp! believes that others will listen when we have a strong fighting organisation. We need to take up issues such as breaching, private job network agencies, “mutual obligation” and work for the dole. We need alies but it is when we stand up for ourselves then others will listen. We ask for your support. The more assistance we get the better we can fight. Tell us of your experiences.

StandUp wishes you all the best for the festive season and the new Year.

Contact Standup! phone 95164486 e-mail

You are welcome to participate!

Dodgy Job network agency

On Illawarra Rd near the corner of Marrickville Rd Marrickville you will see a door to Workfutures which is full of unopened mail. There is a notice telling you that the entrance is around the corner , in a laneway. Well if you go around the knock vigorously on their highly secure door, usually you won’t get a response.

We thought this was one of the failed job network agencies. Well there are many of these. But , one day, someone told us he had an appointment there. He knocked on the door and got no-one. He went around the side and got no-one also. He was on time for the appointment he was supposed to go to.

Getting no answer, he went to Centre Link as he was concerned about the possibility of being penalised for missing an appointment. They believed him and rang the co-ordinator’s mobile and only got an answering machine.

We do not know how a dodgy operation like this is recognised. It certainly shouldn’t be.

The owner provided little evidence that he is providing service to the unemployed. Meanwhile he is taking tax payers money.

If this institution is ever open, it certainly is not open enough for any unemployed person to utilise its services adequately. We think they should be scrapped as a job network agency.

We should have the right to adequate access to our job network agency. They control when they are open and when we have access. We know of someone else who complains that her agency doesn’t allow her in for long enough for her to adequately look for work. This is wrong!

Many private job network agencies work hard for their clients. We think though many are just ripping off public money. We oppose private job network agencies totally!

The End of the Block

For decades Aboriginal people have enjoyed cheap accommodation in the part of Redfern known as The Block Apart from providing affordable housing. The Block has been a community centre and a symbol of black pride. Unfortunately the block has suffered from poverty, unemployment, violence, drugs and alcohol. The Block is not alone. Many communities Black and white have been ravaged with these problems. The Block has been visible though and this has meant much pressure to “deal with the problems”. For many “dealing with problems’ means eviction

The value of the land is immense. Developers stand to make millions if land is sold on the open market.

StandUp! Is critical of the fact that houses have been run down and become derelict. There has been mass eviction by stealth as houses become unliveable. Now there are only fourteen houses left.

We think that those remaining should have the right to remain there if they want to. We think it is the responsibility of landlord Aboriginal housing company to make these houses habitable.

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