[Linux-aus] Professionals Australia (formerly APESMA)

Daniel Bryan danbryan at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 13:00:23 EST 2013

I respect and understand the perspective of those who say that we "do not
need" a Union for IT workers in Australia, but the experience of many
workers speaks otherwise.

I don't know much about pay across the industry, but I have a hunch that
the situation is not too bad. Conditions are a different matter; they vary
significantly across the industry.

The challenges and demands of high-pressure IT environments can pose
significant problems for people with existing mental health issues or
substantial commitments outside of their work. While many of us enjoy an
intense environment, I've seen people weather it without really having a
choice. Some people will simply say that these workers should find a better
job, but it's not always so simple as that.

Unions don't just form in times of outrageous exploitation: a situation
where the workforce is in a strong position (skills shortage, job growth)
is a great opportunity for Unions to ensure that the benefits enjoyed by
the people in the better workplaces extend to a wider part of the industry.

Anyway - LCA is hardly the forum for a debate about the role and relevance
of unionism, and this community being what it is there will obviously be
many people who a) have an objective interest opposed to the union
movement, and b) who disagree with unionism on an intellectual /
ideological level. And that's fine, but I think it must be said that
organisations like the ACS simply cannot fulfil that role. Realistic or
not, there is a subset of the workforce whose position could be improved by
real collective struggle and bargaining.

Consensus seems to be that "Professionals Australia" is not currently this
organisation either. It's a pity.

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