Previous month:
November 2015
Next month:
January 2016

December 2015

Prime Minister Turnbull on the Trade Union Royal Commission

Prime Minister Turnbull is speaking on the TURC.

He starts speaking off the cuff, "if the recommendations of this report are implemented...If they are implemented....."  then "they will be implemented, we will implement the recommendations...."

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.45.36 am

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.45.46 am

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.45.57 am

After a few minutes he is now on much firmer ground.   He speaks of the AWU Victoria Branch accepting $25,000 to sell Clean Event workers down the river.

He now states that his government is firmly committed to union reform.

He states that the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation (rejected by the Senate) will be reintroduced in the first session of the Parliament in the new year.   

Senator Cash spoke and said similar things.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.12.09 pm

Then the Attorney General Senator Brandis gave us the zinger - the TURC investigations to continue for a further 12 months.

We win!



ACTU Dave Oliver on TURC findings - "there was no need for TURC, we set up a review under Judge Madgwick"

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.01.06 am

I've just watched Brendan O'Connor (there was no need for Royal Commission, it was a political witch-hunt) and am now watching Dave Oliver in his incredible performance at a press conference today.

3 times now Oliver has referred to the Madgwick report to the ACTU and his recommendations for union governance.

Bias much?   That would be this Judge Madgwick, the same one who helped the AWU write off the AWU Scandal but forgot to mention that little bit of background in his report to the ACTU.

Final Report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

Final Report

The Commissioner provided his Final Report to the Governor-General on 28 December 2015.

As each State issued the Royal commission with State Letters Patent, the Report is also provided to each State Governor.

The Report is comprised of 6 volumes, one of which is a confidential volume.  Each volume, other than the confidential volume, is available at the links below:

Volume 1 – Introduction and Overview 

Volume 2 – CEPU, HSU, MUA, NUW and TWU 

Volume 3 – CFMEU 

Volume 4 – CFMEU and AWU 

Volume 5 – Law Reform and Policy 

Volume 6 – Confidential Volume – not publicly available


TURC's report has Shorten worried - Chairman Mal is Shorten's best bet

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 5.33.58 pm


From The Australian today


ALP’s 11th-hour union bid over royal commission report


Bill Shorten has tried to pre-empt the findings of a damning report into trade union corruption by appealin­g directly to Malcolm Turnbull to accept a series of Labor measures, including an overhaul of political donations rules.

The Opposition Leader has used a letter, sent to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, to try to ensure Labor is not trapped in a crucial election year by the findings of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, which will hand the government more ammunition to push for union reform after a series­ of scandals.

The royal commission is due to hand its final report to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove today and the government is expected to release the document as early as tomorrow, with Employment Minister Michael­ia Cash canvassing toughening-up the Coalition’s proposed union governance laws as a potential response.

Senator Cash also identified the militant Construction Forest­ry Mining and Energy Union as one of the targets of any government response.

“I believe that all Australians would want to see in place laws that ensure greater transparency and accountability for registered organisations — whether they be employer or employee representative bodies,” the minister told The Australian.

“The construction industry has been repeatedly identified as one with endemic problems of lawlessness.

“When repeat offending by the construction division of the CFMEU gets so bad that the Federal Court has to ask whether there has ‘ever been a worse recid­ivist in the history of the common law’, there is clearly a problem in the industry and this division of the CFMEU.”

The royal commission’s findings were to be a central plank in the re-election strategy of Tony Abbott and his successor, Mr Turnbull, is standing by royal commissioner Dyson Heydon amid an attack on Mr Heydon’s integrity led by Labor and the union movement.

Mr Shorten’s letter urges Mr Turnbull to consider a series of Labor measures to improve union governance, as well as linking the issue to a reduction in the political donation disclosure threshold from $13,000 to $1000 for individuals, companies and unions.

The opposition has attacked the government’s legislation to clean up the union movement as too onerous, saying it was unfair to bring penalties for union volunteers into line with those applying to highly paid company directors.

Mr Shorten has urged Mr Turnbull to engage with Labor on the issue in an attempt to negotiate a breakthrough to the polit­ical impasse, saying the “flagrant misuse of union members’ money by a small number of union offic­ials” was unacceptable.

“Unlike the government’s Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill, Labor’s new proposals do not place more onerous obligations on volunteers involved in unions and employer organisations,” he said.

The tribes of Tennessee

In 1865 the State of Tennessee gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan.   Maybe the University of Tennessee has a chip on its shoulder as a result and feels it ought to be more politically correct than........well just about everybody.

In September this year, the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion issued this guideline with a phrase that's become notorious in the USA - Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.


Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations

The university does not have an official policy regarding religious, and cultural décor and celebration in the workplace. However, we are fully committed to a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment.

In addition to consulting our cultural and religious holidays calendar when selecting a date for your event, we encourage you to implement the following best practices for inclusive holiday celebrations.

  • Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture. Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.
  • Consider having a New Year’s party and include décor and food from multiple religions and cultures. Use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate individuals for the New Year’s goals and priorities.
  • Supervisors and managers should not—as well as, not be perceived as—endorsing religion generally or a specific religion.
  • If an individual chooses not to participate in a holiday party or celebration, do not pressure the person to participate. Participation should be voluntary.
  • If a potluck-style party or celebration is planned, encourage employees to bring food items that reflect their personal religions, cultures, and celebrations. Use this as an opportunity for individuals to share what they brought and why it is meaningful to them.
  • If sending holiday cards to campus and community partners, send a non-denominational card or token of your gratitude.
  • Holiday parties and celebrations should not play games with religious and cultural themes. For example, “Dreidel” or “Secret Santa.” If you want to exchange gifts, then refer to it in a general way, such as a practical joke gift exchange or secret gift exchange.
  • Décor selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture. Identify specific dates when décor can be put up and when it must come down.
  • Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture.
  • Most importantly, celebrate your religious and cultural holidays in ways that are respectful and inclusive of our students, your colleagues, and our university.


The state legislature was inundated with complaints, so now there's a better best practice note at the website for the Uni's happy holidays.

The University of Tennessee has done us all a great service.    We can see what political correctness looks like when it's taken towards its logical conclusion.   These are some of the tribes of Tennessee:

photo of graduates