CoS applies for Fair Work Act exemption

Kookaburra

Gold Meritorious Patron
:angry:

This is absolutely outrageous! And what's worse than wanting is the Fair Work Review is keeping secret what is going on with the Scilon's applications.

Does anyone know who Mary Anderson is? I've never heard of her.

Here is the text in full.

Anyone who has worked for the CoS in Australia should write in and tell the Fair Work review about your "vow of poverty" and the conditions you volunteered for.

EXCLUSIVE by Joe Hildebrand
The Daily Telegraph
February 23, 2012 12:00AM

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.

http://www.news.com.au/business/church-of-scientology-demands-right-to-underpay/story-e6frfm1i-1226278848377
 

Emma

Con te partirò
Administrator
Mary Anderson is the DSA for Melbourne Day.

mary.jpg


Mary is the one on the left. Pauline Priest is on the right.
 
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?

i tend to take some exception to the bandying of the word brainwashed. it's been more than thirtyfive years since i worked on staff and i give the nod to CoS on this issue and in fact working at a functional CLIV org the terms were acceptable. i was an auditor and my mate a course sup and we had a pleasant sunny two room apartment with bath.
 

NonScio

Patron Meritorious
Gosh, 10 bucks for 72 hours, that's 13.3 cents an hour...I don't think even the Chinese can match
that! Maybe that's just what this country needs! Get industry to return
to US shores. Think of the possibilities...Automobile Industry run by
the "church"..."volunteer labor" on the assembly line..toss them some rice
and beans at the end of a 12 hour shift, provide some lowcost
bunks, high fences with razor wire on top (to keep union organizers
and such entheta troublemakers out), some top notch security people
(can get them for maybe $1 hour?) and boy, they could really make a
go of it. Turn out cars cheaper than Henry Fords $325 Model A of 1933.
Best thing, could probably sell them for $10,000...cheaper than any
Asian competion and really rake in the profits...profits that could
be used to complete the Super Power Building, Ideal Orgs all over the
place, and fund some really swell parties for Tom Cruise!
Barrack Obama, you payin attention?
 

Rene Descartes

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

i tend to take some exception to the bandying of the word brainwashed. it's been more than thirtyfive years since i worked on staff and i give the nod to CoS on this issue and in fact working at a functional CLIV org the terms were acceptable. i was an auditor and my mate a course sup and we had a pleasant sunny two room apartment with bath.

Thanks for bringing that up. It is possible that we overlooked that the Church would be trying to get this passed by giving the impression of clIV orgs and then turn around and apply it on a more broader scale to the most dedicated Scientologist on the planet, Tom Cruise, no strike that I mean the underpaid and undernourished Sea Org personnel.

Rd00
 

Feral

Rogue male
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?

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) had it's own definition. When I read it I thought it was a no brainer. From their website;

Volunteering

Volunteers are often found in not-for-profit organisations and projects undertaken to benefit the community. People can offer their services without payment voluntarily, to assist a not-for-profit organisation’s goals.

Genuine volunteers are not employees. For a voluntary arrangement to be genuine there must be no intention between an employer and employee to create an employment relationship. This means that a volunteer must agree that they will not be paid for any work performed. The arrangement must be at the volunteer’s own free will and there cannot be any element of coercion in the relationship.
Example

Franko works part-time in the financial sector, and decides that he wants to volunteer some of his time working with his local community. He approaches a soup kitchen run by his local church to enquire about volunteering to prepare food and provide free meals in the soup kitchen that is run for the homeless in his local area.

Franko fills in an application form, and meets with the volunteer coordinator, who explains the roles and responsibilities of the volunteers and explains that the work is not paid.

Franko agrees to enter into this arrangement at his own free will, knowing that he will not receive payment for his time with this not-for-profit organisation. With these details made clear up front, Franko and the organisation are acknowledging that Franko is volunteering his time without expectation of payment. Neither party have the intention to enter into an employment relationship and on these facts it is unlikely that one exists.

If a person offers their services to a business to gain work experience it is necessary to consider whether they are an employee of the business or a volunteer. You will find further information about making this determination on the Student placements, work experience and internships page.

Note: A business and person can’t simply characterise what is actually an employment relationship as volunteer work simply by labelling it as a ‘volunteer arrangement’. Whether it is a genuine and legitimate volunteer arrangement will depend on the details of the situation, in particular whether or not there was an intention to create an employment relationship. An unpaid work trial, or other type of work, can’t be disguised as a voluntary arrangement.

Determining whether a volunteer arrangement is genuine will depend on the individual circumstances of each arrangement and can involve complex legal issues. If you have any questions or concerns about your situation, you can Contact us for assistance.

Seems promising, eh?

Then when they put out their draft recommendations we celebrated for three days and four nights.

The cult hired a Queens Counsel, Bret Walker at something like $7,000 per day to put the fear of God into the cash strapped and essentially toothless FWO who suddenly concurred that CofS STAFF were in fact volunteers.

I have no words strong enough.

After Today Tonights show about the 8YO Shane Kelsey signing a billion year SO contract and ending up on the RPF at 16. I sent the FWO a short e-mail asking wether they deemed him a volunteer or staff. I'm still awaiting a reply.
 

scooter

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

i tend to take some exception to the bandying of the word brainwashed. it's been more than thirtyfive years since i worked on staff and i give the nod to CoS on this issue and in fact working at a functional CLIV org the terms were acceptable. i was an auditor and my mate a course sup and we had a pleasant sunny two room apartment with bath.

How about "brain-cleared?":biggrin:
 

Zhent

Leakus Maximus
Unbelievable the nerve of this cult! The time of doing-whatever-the-hell-they-want is now well over, ethics are going to be put into Scientology big time!

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

OMG the irony of this statement!

There will be NO exemptions for clear labour exploitations, full-time scientology staff WILL get a fair pay, and when the ACNC comes in soon the tax exemptions WILL be stripped away as well! These combined will absolutely CRUSH Scientology's operation in Australia and finally put it out of its misery.


Great article by the way, thanks to Joe Hildebrand.


BTW. Its a great shame this came out right in the middle of the ALP leadership spill, this deserves more attention and scrutiny. (TT, ACA perhaps?)
 

sallydannce

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

I want to know why!

Why is the official submission from the CofS confidential?

That doesn't make any sense.

I wanna see this submission!

One only has a confidential submission if one is either hiding something from people or needs protection on some level.

WTF happened to open transparent democratic process!
 

Zhent

Leakus Maximus
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

Heeeeere's Oisin Grogan
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.
(PDF)


Note carefully that Oisin has only mentioned her work in the front groups. This is a massive flaw in their argument as it leaves the door wide open for actual org staffers to be viewed as workers. I imagine Oisin was poorly briefed on the Fair Work Review project CoS is cooking up and went out all guns blazing without realising he/she was footbulleting. If you look at the other submissions they carefully do not explicitly make distinctions to Org staff and actual volunteering activities. (OK I haven't read them all but thats what I am seeing)

We must be vigilant to expose this flaw! It is critical to the FWO the distinction is made between Org staff / SO and actual front group volunteer activities. I imagine part of CoS's battle plan will be to try and gloss it over and lump it all together and put forward the front groups as a front so actual workers appear to be part of their 'volunteers'. Seriously we can't let Scientology get the only word in on this, we can't afford to lose this one, attack their weaknesses ruthlessly!!!

Edit: I know the FWO/FWA is not stupid and they are well aware of what constitutes 'volunteering', but do not underestimate Scientology putting one over them! They will be fighting for their existence on this one and will throw enormous resources at it to make it go away.
 
Last edited:
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?

I must I admit I'm just scanning the thread to avoid throwing up too much with the cultie offerings, but anyway... I'd like to see arguments or actual rulings along the lines you have suggested LLLL. Complete acceptance of the culties "volunteer" position.....but only on the condition that they are not legally entitled to structure the volunteering under any sort of contract which does not give minimum wage, Fair enough. In fact no contract at all is necessary. The answer of course is that COS requires it to PREVENT people changing their minds about being willing to give devoted unpaid/lowpaid service -which they all claim is not work. Can't have it both ways! Staff not on contacts...how much more off policy can you get? Once that goes then gag orders are a goner too, I guess, because there is no real legal commitment.

So now I have to choose....do I want the cult to lose this....and have to pay wages?.....or do I want them to win but have no legally binding contact - an outcome which would erode their legal bludgeons?
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

This makes me sick:

That calling is of the spirit, and higher - God. It is not work.

Since when is "God" part of a scientologist's vocabularly?
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

I didn't know about this review process, if it was posted here I missed it. Except for comments on the submissions, there's not much that can be done now. http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/Policies/FairWorkActReview/Pages/Home.aspx

Supplementary submission process open

On 18 January 2012, the Fair Work Act Review Panel released a background paper and announced the timing for the review’s submission process.

The background paper, which can be downloaded below, provides general information on the review and the Act, detail of the submission process, relevant evidence sources and questions stakeholders may wish to consider when developing their submissions. The questions are not intended to be exhaustive and stakeholders are free to address other issues raised by the review’s terms of reference.

Written submissions to the Review Panel were due by 17 February 2012. Supplementary submissions, including comments on the submissions of other participants, are due by 2 March 2012. They should be focussed in the main on comments on, and responses to, the initial submissions.

Submissions should be concise and it is essential that contentions and propositions in submissions are supported by evidence.

Unless individuals or organisations making a submission seek confidentiality, all submissions will be posted on the Submissions page of the review’s website.
 

freethinker

Sponsor
In my view no religious institution should be allowed to make their workers work for nothing. It is in direct violation of the reason for religion which is to bring about a better quality of life.

You look at any religion and they have their beautiful buildings and the upper echelon have their beatiful attire and the Vatican is filthy rich.

Having a higher calling is a personal thing, it is not a sacrifice, but religions seem to operate on the concept of sacrifice, all of them.

Religions and Governments exist for the benefit of the people but the people end up serving them to their own detriment.

Nothing wrong with believing in a higher sense of spirituality but more blood has been shed in the name of religion and kings than anything else.
 

Div6

Crusader
In my view no religious institution should be allowed to make their workers work for nothing. It is in direct violation of the reason for religion which is to bring about a better quality of life.

You look at any religion and they have their beautiful buildings and the upper echelon have their beatiful attire and the Vatican is filthy rich.

Having a higher calling is a personal thing, it is not a sacrifice, but religions seem to operate on the concept of sacrifice, all of them.

Religions and Governments exist for the benefit of the people but the people end up serving them to their own detriment.

Nothing wrong with believing in a higher sense of spirituality but more blood has been shed in the name of religion and kings than anything else.

Organized religion is a control mechanism and a sham. A "hearts and minds" campaign to control populations with a promise of nothing for something. ?That is not to say that god, worship, fellowship and communion do not have their place or value, because they do. But the minute you introduce an "Authoritative Interpreter" it is game over for individual rights and understanding.
 

cakemaker

Patron Meritorious
There are many Hubbard references where he states that staff should be well paid.
In fact, I believe that one of the requirements for an org to be 'St Hill' sized is that staff are getting decent pay and don't need to moonlight.

This effort to paint staff as 'volunteers' is bunk.
LRH ED 339R about the Make-Break point of an org spells it out.
LRH ED 254 INT STAFF PAY
HCO PL 6 OCT 70 II MOONLIGHTING
FLAG ORDER 785RA VOLUNTEERS
are other excellent references. These would be ideal to send to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
 
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