As a registered nurse for the past 10 years, Gaby Norman is used to taking care of others.
The Townsville local dedicates herself to work in the area of adolescent mental health, and doubles as a delegate for the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union.
She sees young, vulnerable Australians in need of help each and every day, and supports her colleagues in their own times of need.
It’s clear Gaby is always thinking of those around her, and how she can help. And that’s why, with the Morrison Government proposing dangerous industrial relations legislation, she fears for what’s ahead.
“It’s concerning the terminology that they’re [the Government] using and what that’s going to look like going forward into the future,” she tells ACTU President Michele O’Neil on a recent visit to far north Queensland.
Her biggest concern is casualisation and stopping the one-way shift of permanent jobs turning insecure.
“I think definitely on the back of a pandemic at the moment, we’re already seeing instability within the workforce and a changing workforce,”
“Moving forward into economic recovery, we really want more permanency
and be able to see growth within the economy and I think having casual jobs is not going to be helpful for that.
“People want to be able to go to work and come back and know that they’ve got a job tomorrow and continue into the future to provide for their families.”
Gaby has every right to be worried about the future of work in Australia. After all, her own job is so invariably linked with what employment looks like decades from now.
She’s helping at-risk young people navigate many complex issues, in an effort to make them feel safe and supported in society. These young people will need jobs in the years to come and the pressures of insecure work will do little to help their plight.
“We’re kind of growing the young people for our next kind of generation of workforce,” she says.
“They’re going to be the ones going into these jobs that this legislation is going to affect
so I think it’s really important that we make sure we get it right if we’re going to make changes.”