Unions have called on employer groups to speak out against a move by the Victorian government that they say could jeopardise workplace safety and increase WorkCover premiums. Australian Workers Union (AWU) Victorian secretary Cesar Melhem said groups representing employers agreed with him that the proposal to divert WorkCover funds into general revenue was outrageous.
Unions urge action on workcover victoria budget
“They are saying one thing to me in private, but keeping their mouths shut in public because they don’t want to rock the Baillieu government boat,” Mr Melhem said.
“They should be standing up for their members, and their members should be demanding that they do.”
Earlier this month, the head of Victoria’s workplace safety authority Greg Tweedly resigned after the government announced it would strip $470 million from its budget over four years and channel it into general revenue.
“At a time when we are seeing increasing pressure on Victorian employers as a result of the high Australian dollar, I would have thought this government would be looking for ways to support jobs, not raiding WorkCover,” Mr Melhem said.
He said the AWU’s primary concern was for workplace safety and fair compensation for injured workers.
“We want the safety system to be properly resourced, and injured workers to be properly compensated – that’s what WorkCover premiums are for,” Mr Melhem said.