Vol. 36 No. 1 2010
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ItemReview Article: Death of Labour Law? Comparative Perspectives(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2010)
ItemLearning with Hard Labour: University Students as Workers(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2010)This article argues the growth in the number of university students working and in their working hours is the result of inadequate government funding and support and that student work commitments are now having a negative impact on class attendance and out-of-class study. This, however, is not simply an educational issue. With over 300,000 university students working, it is important to understand more about their employment experience. This is made possible by citing the results of a 2006 regional survey which examined the nature of student work in terms of industry, size of business, earnings, hours and union membership. In this way, student employment is firmly placed within the context of a deregulated industrial relations system. The article also discusses the problem of student paid employment in the light of the Bradley Review of Higher Education in Australia.
ItemCrossing the Great Divide: a Case Study of a Regional Nursing Labour Market in the Central West of New South Wales(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2010)This study contributes to the labour market research into nurse shortage in an Australian regional context. It indicates that supply decisions are influenced by family circumstances, attachment to regional life and characteristics of the profession, particularly the emphasis on caring. Aspects of nursing work, particularly workloads and working with competent people (as opposed to autonomy and career prospects), and conditions of work, particularly wages, protection from violence and flexibility of working time are more able to be affected by government and management. The study also suggests that a 'strict' approach to employment and work organisation tends to follow traditional medical treatment assumptions and lead to unnecessary cultural and systemic inflexibility. Generational conflict ('older' and 'younger' nurses) overlaid by opposition to the current system of nurse education (hospital-based and university-based) emerge as additional problems impacting on the participation of nurses.
ItemWhich of Australia's Baby Boomers Expect to Delay their Retirement? An Occupational Overview(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2010)This paper examines the retirement intentions of Australian Baby Boomers by occupation. Workers from 14 of 35 occupations expect to retire earlier than the national average of 64.3 years, with 'white collar' workers more likely to be among the early retiring, and 'blue collar' workers among the late. Early-retiring intentions will be reinforced by short gaps between preferred and expected retirement age, relatively high levels of financial security and formal discussion about retirement, yet lower than average levels of desire for transition-to-retirement arrangements; late-retiring intentions will be reinforced by more or less the opposite. Early-retiring occupations are also the largest and have the potential to cost the economy 1.26 million person-years of working life. The findings indicate that policy interventions should be targeted, that interventions should include non-economic inducements and reforms, including efforts to ensure a healthier longer work life, and that Baby Boomer retirement needs to be 'managed' at an institutional level.
ItemCareers of South Australian health Professional Graduates(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2010)In light of continuing debates about shortages in health professional workforces, and decisions over the past few years to increase the number of medical, dental and physiotherapy schools across Australia, this paper reports on a study of the careers of medical, dental and physiotherapy graduates from South Australian universities from 1960 to 2003. We found substantial change over time, including recent graduate cohorts having proportionally more females and fewer having attended a private secondary school. A significant minority reported job dissatisfaction and burnout, with recent cohorts reporting higher levels of stress than older respondents. They were also working part-time more than was the case for older cohorts at equivalent points in their careers. We argue that strategies to increase graduate numbers in the near future can reduce shortages of health professionals, but increased numbers alone may not be sufficient to promote a sustainable health professional workforce.