Richmond Valley is the winner

How can it be any other way? A young trainee goes to HR to ask questions and is threatened, immediately, that if the thing went to court she would lose, and the threat is repeated. depa raises the issue on her behalf, the GM responds that this is a great program and we are wrecking it and wrecking opportunities for young people in the area, begrudgingly agrees that she should have been paid on the T scale all along and that she has been underpaid, accepts this is breaching the Award but then wants her to pay half her university fees, another breach of the Award. Come on, Vaughan, we expected better of you.

We may not have awarded this prestigious trophy to Richmond Valley had they recognised their arrangements are illegal, young people were being underpaid and it was really wage theft. But there are people at Richmond Valley, including the GM and People and Culture (!) who still mutter that it’s a shame we removed their capacity to pay people less than their legal entitlement.

Of the six “scholars”, who are really trainees, four are women. At the same time as the Council wants to defend ripping these employees off, they are busy boasting in a report by Women & Leadership Australia on the hundred days for change initiative that they want to “empower our women”. On the evidence, they’re more likely to cheat them.

They also say that women need to have “the power and access to speak up and connect with each other in order to continue to develop personally along with our organisation” but when a young woman does that, they threaten her that if it went to court she would lose. Leaving aside that threat was made without proper advice and it was wrong, it should not have happened.

And we don’t want to ever hear again that there are advantages in wage theft.

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