Student Workers and trade Unions: a preliminary report of findings

William Murray Robbins

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

    8 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper reports the finding of a late 2006 survey into the paid employment experiences of students at a large regional university. The objectives of the survey were multi-faceted but in this paper the focus is specifically on industrial relations implications and issues. The study found that 66% of students are now working one or more jobs in any given week and that most of these jobs were casual and located in retailing and hospitality. However the concern is that the minium wages and conditions offered by this type of employment are increasingly less regulated or protected by either legislation or organisations like the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. On the other hand, new types of employment arrangements such as AWAs are apparent amongst student workers but there is no sign that these are determined by any interactive negotiation. The survey also found a low level of union membership amongst these types of workers, a reality which further reduces the levels of protection under which they work. Despite their low rate of membership the study found there was little ingrained hostility to unions and that many would, under different circumstances, be prepared to join a union. In examining the perception of unions held by student workers the study found unions were often invisible while the there is also the hint that student workers may, in some workplaces, be invisible to unions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAIRAANZ conference 2007
    Subtitle of host publicationDiverging employment relations patterns in Australia and New Zealand
    EditorsErling Rasmussen
    Place of PublicationAuckland NZ
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)0868691119
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ): 2007 Annual Conference - Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand
    Duration: 07 Feb 200709 Feb 2007


    ConferenceAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ)
    Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


    Dive into the research topics of 'Student Workers and trade Unions: a preliminary report of findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this