The Australian Workers Union (AWU) approved a deal that saw cleaners paid well below award wages while working at prestigious events, in exchange for $25,000 a year in "membership fees", a Royal Commission inquiry has heard.
The Fair Work Commission has approved a new industrial Award for the Australian Public Service (APS). The Commission said that while most members of the APS were covered by enterprise agreements bargained at the Agency level, the Award would be used as a safety net against which the Fair Work Commission would undertake a "better off overall test".
Trade unions have committed to work with business against the federal government's push to stop workers claiming paid parental leave from their employer and the taxpayer.
The Coles and Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees (SDA) agreement is before the Fair Work Commission, which is required to test if it leaves individual workers "better off overall" when compared to the retail award, the basic wages safety net. A detailed analysis of the deal by senior union official indicated it was clearly in breach of that test as the agreement provides for only a 20% loading for casual staff, compared to 25% under the award as well as significantly lower weekend penalty rates, in some cases nearly half the award rate.
In a bid to reduce red tape in the sector, the Government wants to introduce a new permit system for Australian and foreign-flagged ships. Among the changes would be a provision abolishing a requirement that foreign ships hire staff on Australian wages and conditions if they trade in the nation's waters for 183 days or less. The Government hopes to introduce the legislation next month.
BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil have lost another month of oil production at their Bass Strait oil and gas fields as strike action prevented the crude plant and a gas plant reopening. The strikes concern enterprise agreements for onshore and offshore workers.
Members of two unions – Professionals Australia and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union – will run a coordinated campaign to disrupt work at the massive department to show their disapproval toward the Abbott government's enterprise bargaining negotiations. The two unions represent technical, scientific and trade-related employees at Defence which has about 20,000 civilian staff. The Department of Defence has offered civilian staff when they were offered a 3.16% pay rise for the next three years.
Enterprise agreements for more than 100,000 public-sector employees in Victoria — including police, hospital workers and firefighters — expire in the next year, with wage demands expected to be high. The first two unions up for renewal are the United Firefighters Union and the Health Services Union. Budget figures show the bill for public-sector employment costs will climb by 7.1% in 2015-16 with wage increases planned for 2.5-3% with the unions expected to demand at least 5%.
The Local Government Association of Queensland on Thursday broadsided the state government over new laws that roll back previous public service industrial relations provisions and will also sink a new single award for employees across 77 councils and return to striking deals council by council which they say produces a costly administrative nightmare they can’t afford.
The Queensland government introduced into Parliament the first tranche of its reforms to industrial relations in the State public sector. The Bill seeks to amend the Industrial Relations Act 1999 (IR Act) amongst others to:
- Restore the conditions of employment in awards and agreements covering State Government employees that were made unenforceable by the previous government
- Remove the requirement that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) must consider the relevant employer’s financial position and the State’s financial position and fiscal strategy as part of public interest in wage arbitration matters.
- Remove prohibitions and qualifications on content that can be included in a modern award or certified agreement in the future
The HSU won pay rises of 3.75% and 3% - above the Government's inflation-only 2.75% and 2.5% wages policy guideline. Dr Nahan said the impact would be an extra $90 million cost over four years and he vowed the WA Government would not make up the difference with extra funds.
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