The future of work

April 19, 2022 News

By Chris Gazenbeek,

SDA Secretary

For many years, the SDA has argued that our members want secure, well-paid jobs that give our members financial, emotional and family stability. Secure jobs, by its very definition, provide the individual with certainty in their life.

There needs to be an honest debate in Australia. Key players such as trade unions, business groups and governments need to be involved in these discussions. As a society, we have to determine what sort of work we want. Do we want an employment sector which only provides insecure work or do want a society which provides secure, permanent work which gives workers an opportunity to provide financial and emotional security for them and their families.

The SDA has strongly argued for the benefits of secure work for decades. Thankfully, some employers are beginning to listen and we look forward to these on-going discussions.

The real world

It is extremely important to talk about the future of work but it is equally important to talk about the present where many SDA members have to work two or more jobs so that they can pay their rent and put food on the table. Having two or even three jobs is not a new phenomenon. For generations, many workers have had to do this to ‘keep the wolf from their door’. When industries predominately only offer part-time and casual work, workers have little choice but to seek extra employment elsewhere.

Juggling two jobs

  • It is important to keep your availability up to date with all your employers;
  • At times you may be offered too many hours so it is important you decide which job you derive the most enjoyment and which job offers the best prospects;
  • Don’t risk your own health and family life by keeping all your employers happy. Nothing is worth that;
  • It is important you pay the correct amount of tax in both jobs or else you may be faced with an unpleasant surprise from the Australian Taxation Office at the end of the financial year;
  • If you work at, for example, Woolworths and McDonald’s, your SDA membership covers you at both jobs. In this situation, it is important to notify the union office because you will be posted both the Woolworths and McDonalds’ bulletins. The wages and working conditions are quite different in each company and it is in your interests to be informed on all your rights.