Suspicion over Queensland job satisfaction survey

The results of a survey into mining employee satisfaction in Queensland have been met with suspicion by unions.

Yesterday the Queensland Resources Council released a report which claimed there was a high level of satisfaction among mining workers in Queensland.

The survey was answered anonymously by 1832 people, split into 1523 male and 309 female respondents.

638 respondents identified as residential employees, and 1192 as non-resident.

90 per cent also identified as being in a relationship, with 57 per cent having dependent children.

However, the questionnaire for the anonymous survey did not take in data about types of rosters worked, or whether respondents identified as working in trade roles or management.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche suggested the results of the survey negated results found by a previous survey conducted by the CFMEU.

“Contrary to union claims, some 79 per cent of workers were satisfied or very satisfied with the standard of employer-provided accommodation, with a mere 8 per cent dissatisfied,” he said.

“The results dispel many of the myths that get peddled around that mine workers are unhappy with their work, health, accommodation and travel arrangements.”

CFMEU district president Steve Smythe said he was suspicious about the way information was collected by the QRC, as well as their failure to take in data about issues closely linked to levels of worker satisfaction, such as rosters and occupation.

“I see Michael Roche had a little dig at the union about their survey,” Smythe said.

 “We did a survey and a camp audit to be incorporated in the FIFO commission in Queensland, and I would put those results up against the report from QRC any day, because we actually got out and about on the ground, speaking to workers, and when I say workers I mean coal miners on the ground, union and non-union alike.

“The QRC survey is very light on detail, they say they spoke to 1800 people, but who are those people?"

Smythe said he did not have confidence in QRC survey based on the lack of demographic data relating specifically to employment, rather than general personal information.

“I think the QRC did that deliberately because I don’t believe they would have gotten the same outcome,” he said.

“I think the QRC survey took in 300 females, but are those 300 females who work on the ground or who work in the office?

“It’s interesting how in this one it says 64 per cent of workers are happy with their arrangements – and that that is a ‘large proportion’ – actually it could be argued that a large proportion – 36 per cent – are not happy with their arrangements, and need more choice!

“Also note in their survey they asked respondents to rate their mental health, and most people rated it highly. But when we asked the question about whether their work arrangements caused stress, we got a very high percentage.”

Australian Mining contacted QRC to ask about why roster and industry sector information was not gathered.

A spokesman for QRC said the lobby group would take the question on notice.

Image: Bloomberg

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