A care union in a time of austerity

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Bailey, Janis
Robertson, Michelle
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2015
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In Australia, the community sector has historically been ‘on the edge’ in terms of the challenges that confront it even in good times. The new ‘welfare austerity’ and the ever-growing incursion of the New Public Management have, however, intensified these challenges. As is the case elsewhere in the world, abolition, cost-cutting and outsourcing of government services are forcing private sector care providers to do more with less, impacting negatively on client welfare, service delivery and employees’ pay, conditions and working environments. This article examines challenges facing the care sector in the state of Queensland and their impact on a key ‘care union’, The Services Union. Analysis of these challenges and the union’s responses makes a conceptual contribution to the role of unions in the web of care that binds together citizens – including employees, those who manage care organisations, and care recipients, their families and their advocates.

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Labour and Industry
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Industrial Relations
Business and Management
Human Geography
Policy and Administration
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