CoS applies for Fair Work Act exemption

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/bu...ight-to-underpay/story-fn7ki14e-1226278848377

SCIENTOLOGISTS have asked the Federal Government for an exemption to the Fair Work Act so they do not have to pay workers the minimum wage.

In a submission to the Fair Work review, public affairs director Reverend Mary Anderson said the Church of Scientology, which believes Earth was founded 75 million years ago by an alien tyrant called Xenu, should be exempt from workplace law because it was a legitimate religion.

"There is nothing wrong with the concept 'a fair day's pay for a fair day's work' but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause," Ms Anderson wrote.

"Historically, members of religious orders have taken a vow of poverty.

"At the present time, there are church volunteers who are not vowed to poverty but who do volunteer their time and effort to church work, without focus on financial reward."

Ms Anderson said making non-profit organisations pay award wages was "a violation of human rights".

The submission disappeared from public view after it was exposed on the website Workplace Express but Ms Anderson said she did not remove it.

ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said the submission read more like exploitation than religion. "The Scientologists' submission reads like they have been putting their heads together with Australia's employer groups, who would like nothing more than to remove workers' basic rights and conditions in their lust for profits," he said.

"The Fair Work Act review process should not be treated as an opportunity to air extremist and farcical viewpoints devoid of facts.

"This attitude that an employer should have complete free rein to pay and treat their staff however they want has no place in the modern Australia."

When contacted by The Daily Telegraph, Ms Anderson said the submission was her personal one, even though it was sent on a Church of Scientology letterhead and signed "Reverend Mary Anderson, Director of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology".

Another Scientology spokeswoman said the church had made an official submission but it was confidential.

"Nevertheless, what Mary says lines up to a small degree with the Church's past public statements," the spokeswoman said.

"The Church's submission to the Fair Work Act Review is confidential to avoid any unnecessary interference from critics seeking to pre-empt the Review's findings."

The Church of Scientology was investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman last year for claims some adherents worked up to 72 hours without a break and for as little as $10 a week. However, it was deemed that some of these workers were volunteers.
 

La La Lou Lou

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

It's not a religion in the UK.

It is in the states and that's why that needs to change. American law protects any religion, but not to break basic laws. There's relative poverty, living a humble life, and there's unable to cover the cost of survival.
 

Rene Descartes

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

So...

They still want to subject the workers to 70-80 hour work weeks

They still want to subject the workers to punishment for not getting their stats up. Since when do volunteers have a stat watch and a stat push.

They still want to charge freeloader debts if the volunteers "leave".

They still want to keep the volunteers from leaving to go see their family on the holidays.

They still want to not enfore that the volunteers send their children to public schools.

I don't mind the asking for minimum wage requirements being not enforced but there needs to be a thin fine line drawn between the definition of "volunteer" and "worker" or "volunteer and "slave".

In the real world volunteers have theor own daytime activities and jobs and responsibilities and they volunteer during theor "down" time.

I think the Church is pushing it, pressing it, squeezing it and crunching it when they want it both ways.

When volunteering is a full time "job" it strikes me as being something else other than "volunteering" and reeks of something else and that something else reeks like something that generally makes the grass gorw green.

The Church wants to screw someone but at the same time insist that the person they screw is a virgin.

Rd00
 

Sindy

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

The journalist should have called and asked, "With your reports of 8-10 million members, why should you have to have volunteers work for less than a living wage when you are charging exorbitant amounts of money for your services that, apparently, the public is demanding in droves?"

I think, Scientology, you call that an "outpoint". :biggrin:
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

DSA Rev Mary Anderson's Submission (PDF):

Church of Scientology
231-251 Mt. Alexander Rd.
Ascot Vale Vic 3032.

Submission to:
Fair Work Act Review
Fair Work Australia
Level 4, 11 Exhibition Street,
Melbourne, 3000

February 15, 2012


Dear Sirs,

As a stakeholder, I would like to submit the following to the review panel:

The Fair Work Act serves a valid purpose in regard to commercial and industrial organisations; but it was never intended to cover churches and other purely volunteer organisations. Australians are entitled to volunteer their time for causes of their own choice.

There is nothing wrong with the concept: "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work" but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause. Historically, members of religious orders have taken a vow of poverty, embracing a life of service and eschewing financial reward At the present time, there are church volunteers who are not vowed to poverty; but who do volunteer their time and effort to church work, without focus on financial reward.
To force churches to pay these volunteers wages similar to those of commercial organisations is to treat organisations which are quite different as if they were the same. Non profit organisations are not in a position to pay award wages, and the demand that they do so is nothing less than a demand that will force the religious organisations to close. This is a violation of human rights. A review of the Fair Work Act is needed so that it does not continue to be misapplied in regard to religions.

Yours faithfully

Reverend Mary Anderson

Director of Public Affairs
Church of Scientology
231-251 Mt. Alexander Rd.
Ascot Vale Vic 3032.
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Who is Alistair Bennett (PDF)?

To: [email protected] 16 February 2012
Submission: Fair Work Act Review

I am a 54 year old volunteer worker, and I have worked now more than half my life for my church.

I have heard of the interpretations of Fair Work law that potentially could affect church volunteers with regards wages, and I want to make a statement in relation to this.

I have an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and could, if I chose, be earning
some thousands of dollars each week. However I chose many years ago to pursue a
dedicated activity with my church. I chose that because I can see there are aspects of our modern society that very much need improvement and my work with my church brings such improvement directly.

I find my work extremely rewarding and satisfying and any alternate work I would find
completely devoid of meaningful purpose or goal. I am talking about alternate work
with the purpose of financial return as opposed to the purpose of satisfaction and the pleasure of helping others.

I am sure I am not the only volunteer or church worker who feels that way.

When I first heard of the interpretation of the Fair Work Act as possibly requiring church workers and volunteers to receive a minimum wage, my reaction was shock, and actually it became a fear that my goodwill work and the benefit is provides others would be wiped out. Additionally that I am being able to contribute to such work and derive the pleasure, integrity and satisfaction that I do from it would be wiped out too.

I consider I have the right to pursue such an activity. I do it on my own free will. No
government agency or law has any right to interfere with my chosen path of career.
As I noted above, I could very easily have a highly remunerate occupation. I have chosen not to.

A business is set up with the purpose of making a profit to help support it's workers, it's management and it's shareholders. A business delivers a service or product to it's
customers. It's customers pay money in exchange for that service or product. The
money flows back to the workers, the management and the shareholders as their
exchange for their input. They take employment there for that very reason.

Employment activity within a business is considered to be "work".

A church is there for the age old purpose of ministering to others, assisting them,
helping them lead better lives, and for the improvement of society as a whole.

Generally any donations are requested purely to keep the church activity afloat and expanding to help others. Activity in such an activity is not considered "work". It is NOT done for any purpose of money as exchange. Volunteers who work there DO NOT work there for the purpose of monetary exchange. Monetary exchange is a different form of exchange to the "exchange one receives in the form of pleasure, satisfaction, and maintained integrity in forwarding what one considers right.

It is not the same thing to apply "work", as in business, related law, to church activities!

We have the fortune to live in Australia. Australia is considered a free country and works always to make people of any nationality or creed or culture free to pursue their activities as long as those activities do not harm others.

Church workers have the right to live for their church work and to carry out their life
activity for the benefit of others. They do that out of choice and because that is what satisfies them in life and is what provides them a sense of integrity in doing what they feel is right.

This right should be protected in Australia.

The above is my views on this and I would say I am not alone in holding those views.

Please allow Australia to remain the free country it is that allows such simple, time
honoured rights. Please amend the Fair Work Act so that Churches, Charities and other volunteer organisations are exempt from the Fair Work Act.

Regards
Alistair Bennett
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Hello Nick Broadhurst! (PDF)


[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]To: [email protected] 16 February 2012 [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]From: Rev. Nick Broadhurst [/FONT]



[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]Submission: Fair Work Act Review [/FONT]



[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]The current Fair Work Act is not being used in the way it was intended in regard to religion. Australia has until now, been a country following its own constitution including (Article 116). This article does not permit Australian governments to make laws for or against religions. This religious freedom, being free of state interference, has precedence in England hundreds of years ago.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]The Fair Work Act - which is now being reviewed – is being interpreted in such a way that religious and charitable entities are being considered as workers, yet, what is their work? They serve a higher authority than the Australian government, which is why those who formed the Commonwealth of Australia and its constitution, saw to include Article 116. But Fair Work Australia has taken upon itself to investigate financial rewards for ministers of religion and volunteers. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]Certainly, Australia is now more an atheist oriented state. Atheists are using their current positions of power and opinion to reduce religion. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]Ministers are actually not workers. They have never purported to be. The word minister comes from Latin, and means to serve, and that service, be it God, gods, or humankind, is service, and it is not work. And by service, is meant help. We as ministers help people, and that is our service. We tend spiritual needs. What we do is not a secular vocation, but a calling. That calling is of the spirit, and higher - God. It is not work. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]A minister is no more a worker than a housewife is. Perhaps the housewife might also be a target of this renegade government office. Fair Work Australia could - under the same thought process - claim the housewife is a worker. She does do housework, and thus could be said to have to be paid, and if not, then prohibited from working. One can see the evil in this argument. A mother serves her children in the same meaning as a minister serves his congregation. It is purely help, not work. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]People have a right to help each other, and that right in the field of religion is sacrosanct. If this repugnant interpretation of the legislation is forwarded, we will be observing something quite sinister. Ministerial work is a calling. It is not a secular occupation. The goal of ministerial service is not material. The riches of this world are not part of our calling. Simply, trying to enforce a lowering of the status of ministerial calling to that of worker - and enforce a material doctrine of employment is sacrilege - a desecration of what is sacred. Sacred means holy, consecrated to God. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]Religion teaches man that the riches of the world, are indeed mans' downfall. It does not matter if one is witnessing the life of Christ, and his temptation of riches from the devil in the desert, or if a minister is teaching mind essence of Lord Buddha. The story is the same, material is man's downfall. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]We wonder today what would happen if any of the great prophets or sages of the past were to walk amongst us. What would they say? Foe example enforcing material things on Buddhists or ministers of religion who have taken vows of poverty is directly against their vows. This misapplication of the Act contrary to the second parliamentary reading therefore defies the purpose of the legislation. The Fair Work Act should be amended to exempt religious and charitable organisations. Australia has a strong and vital volunteer sector, to replace this with paid labour will cost the country more than it can afford both in money and spiritual freedom. [/FONT]



[FONT=Arial, Arial, sans-serif]Reverend Nick Broadhurst [/FONT]
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Heeeeere's Oisin Grogan (PDF)

To whom it may concern,

I have reviewed the Act and it's Object.

My main concern is the application of this COMMERCIAL act to religious and non-profit groups.

I am a Scientologist and do a great deal of volunteer work with my fellow parishioners to help my community through Drug education programs, literacy campaigns, rubbish clean-ups and other good will activities which benefit Melbourne. This mission is shared alike with other churches and nonprofit groups who depend upon volunteers to provide social and civic assistance.

As regards my own volunteering, I do so as my contribution back to the society in which I am so lucky to live (Australia).

Never have I considered myself an employee and none of my fellow volunteers do either. What "pocket money" I receive helps one cover the cost of petrol and other incidentals.

I also work a full time business schedule which is how I pay my bills maintain a good standard of living.

The use of the Fair work Act and it's offices to harass my church (and others) is completely outside of the scope of the legislation. I have perused the act and it is expressly commercial in nature and intent.

Any use of it on non-profits and churches is inappropriate and needs to be legislated against.

Australia has a strong history of tolerance of religion, culture and creed. The current administration of the act violates our constitution.

Further, recently I was speaking to a council member in my municipality (Moonee Valley) and they told me that they had a shortage of volunteers to deliver meals in the area. The reason for this was the application of FWA. The on-costs imposed by this application of the act prevented people getting even a minor payment for petrol of $50 per week. This pushes the services back onto councils and governments which further increases pressure and costs for our government bodies and infrastructure.

We live in a free country where we should be able to help our fellow Australians. Australia needs more of this not less.

I strongly urge legislation to be passed clearly preventing the FWA to be used in ANY religious or non-profit entity. It is quite clear from the act that is only concerned with business and employment, but it would appear it is being misapplied for some other agenda by a prejudiced few.

Thank you for considering this submission.

Regards,
Oisin Grogan
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

The title of this mob smelled like Scientology...

I was right!

PO Box 248 Broadway NSW 2007 ACN 129 455 394 ABN 38 129 455 394
Phone: 02 9516 0502
www.humanrights.org.au ~ [email protected]

HUMAN RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES AUSTRALIA

SUBMISSION TO THE POST-IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW OF THE FAIR WORK ACT 2009 (CTH)

We submit that the Fair Work Act should be amended to include a section that makes it clear that the Act cannot be used to prevent or set aside any volunteering arrangement agreed upon by consenting and willing parties.

When the Fair Work Bill was first introduced we were assured that it would not be applied in situations involving volunteers.

We agree with this principle. Every year many thousand of Australians freely volunteer their services to community and religious organisations of their choice.

Australians have always been entitled to do so and should continue to be entitled to do so. The common good of the Australian people is enhanced because of volunteers.

However the Fair Work Act has apparently been applied in at least 3 situations involving not for profit organisations and their volunteers in Australia. This would appear to be contrary to the intended use of the Act.

The work performed by volunteers in charitable and not for profit organizations invariably enhances the community and advances or promotes human rights and its values. To curtail or impede the work done by volunteers in this area is contrary to the common good and human rights.

However, regulators will always take and embrace the broadest interpretation of the content of an Act Consequently we submit that the Act should be amended to include a section that makes it very clear that the Act cannot be used to prevent or set aside any volunteering arrangement agreed upon by consenting and willing parties.

Submitted on behalf of the Board by:

Colston Vowles
Secretary & Director 17th February 2012
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Nigel Mannock (PDF). I remember this name from an old scandal in NSW...

Fair Work Act Review Panel

Re: Fair Work Act Review

Dear Sirs,

The current interpretation of the Fair Work Act is a challenge to the status of religious workers, ministers and volunteers in any not-for-profit association.

Senate Estimate Committee exchanges between Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Nicholas Wilson, and Senator Xenophon (Hansard 23.2. 2011) indicate that the FWO is considering whether religious workers are employees and not volunteers.

It is possible that this could include anyone within a religious organisation that is not paid award wages and has not previously been treated as an employee under the Fair Work Act, or its predecessors. This could involve volunteer staff being forced to become “employees” with all the wage costs, plus on-costs, that full award wages would bring.

The media covering the release of this Act assures the public that the Act was never intended to cover Churches and other purely volunteer organisations that are non-commercial. Australians are entitled to freely volunteer their time for the causes they support.

While it may be desirable to some for volunteers to receive high rewards, the cost of doing this would make the religious and charity sector unviable and force organisations to curtail the services they offer to the public.

This is effectively an assault on religious freedom and the rights of all Australian’s to volunteer for their chosen churches and charities.

This is evidenced in the politically driven (by Senator Xenophon) repeated efforts by Fair Work to prove that the volunteers who make up my Church, the Church of Scientology, are actually employees. We are not.

We choose to volunteer for our religious beliefs as part of the basic freedom of being Australian. These investigations must have cost a huge amount of tax payer dollars at little more than a politician’s whim.

The FWO recently investigated claims brought against my Church by a small and closely related group of disaffected former volunteers. While most complaints were ruled out of time or outside the FWO’s jurisdiction, in those cases that could be considered by FWO, the people were deemed to be volunteers.

Recent developments in other areas such as OH&S indicate that there is a will to extend what is defined as a workplace.

The Australian Constitution protects us from any law made for or against any religion and the spirit of this should be reflected in any interpretation of the Fair Work Act.

The explanatory memorandum that accompanied the Fair Work Act shows this was not the intention of the Act when drafted. This initiative by Fair Work could create a precedent that would have a negative financial affect on many charitable and religious organisations in this country. Further, it could make unviable the help that is provided by not-for-profit groups, which deliver much of their community work through volunteers.

I therefore submit that the Fair Work Act should be amended to clearly exempt religious and charitable workers and their organisations from the Fair Work Act.

That this should be so is clearly indicated in the religious freedom guaranteed by the Australian Constitution (Article 116) which forbids laws to be made for or against religion in Australia.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18 must be upheld in its support of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Thank you for considering my submission,

Nigel Mannock
Nigel Mannock
PO Box 248 Broadway 2007
NSW Australia
 

Div6

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

A minister is no more a worker than a housewife is.


lol....WHAT? :biggrin:

What's next? Turbans, minarets and Sharia law?
 

Happy Days

Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

The cults religious cloak is getting a bit thread bare, don't ya think .....

Bennett, Broadhurst are both die hard, long term cult SO members.... brainwashed beyond belief on what is right and wrong....

Broadhurst has finally surfaced so I'm thinking he must have been working on special mission orders probably FWO issue.

With all that's going on within the Labor Party, will Bill Shorten find time to have FWO do something effective about the cult's treatment of its staff and its disregard for the law?
 

Sindy

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

If this is the way they want it then these things have to happen:

1) No more CSWs to take off for any reason and no need to ever make up any time. The person is a volunteer.

2) No need to necessarily show up on any set days or set times. One says when one can come in, voluntarily, and out of the kindness of one's heart, fulfills that promise.

3) No enforced position that one doesn't want.

I'm sure there are more.
 

Feral

Rogue male
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Well, it looks like the cult is going to try to close the door on any future claims. Good luck with that.

The issue here is the the general sentiment of those letters is from die hard religious partisans that don't know Scientology's mission is a mirage, all smoke and mirrors and that David Miscavige lives the life of a billionaire.

Not one of them will feel the same way when they learn that they are pieces in a game that sees them lose everything.

I note that there has been a change of tactic from the CofS and particularly DM. "Sure we do this stuff, sure we lock 'em up, water board them, disconnect them, coerce them to "volunteer" for the RPF; it's all SCRIPTURE!!!"

And as Pope of Scientology anything DM can dream up and do is also scripture.

I think this will be recognised as setting a dangerous precedent.
 

La La Lou Lou

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

definition of volunteer includes....

a. a person who does some act or enters into a transaction without being under any legal obligation to do so and without being promised any remuneration for his services.


NB no legal obligation, he can just walk out.

No contract including SO contract.

No pay, food and somewhere to sleep, nothing for phone calls or tampons no pay at all?????????

How would that work?
 

Lone Star

Crusader
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

definition of volunteer includes....

a. a person who does some act or enters into a transaction without being under any legal obligation to do so and without being promised any remuneration for his services.


NB no legal obligation, he can just walk out.

No contract including SO contract.

No pay, food and somewhere to sleep, nothing for phone calls or tampons no pay at all?????????

How would that work?

Apparently COB has an MU.

On another note, a sane society is one that doesn't give anyone exception from the law. In the US everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. That includes corporations. It needs to include religions.
 
Top