The federal government is considering introducing changes to the industrial relations framework that would allow businesses with more than 20 employees to implement their own workplace agreements without having to get them signed off by the Fair Work Commission. Under the proposal put forward by the commission, employees would be able to opt-out of their workplace agreement after 12 months and return to the industry award should they wish to do so. However, the Australian Industry Group has said while enterprise agreements are needed, the 12-month timeframe is too short.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority want their public servants at their desks for an extra 45 minutes each week in return for a 2 per cent pay rise. The proposed new hours, which would begin in 2018, the last year of the three-year agreement.But technical union Professionals Australia says its members at CASA, where workers have not had a pay rise since mid-2013, are unimpressed with the proposed deal, saying the agency was trying to "get blood out of a stone".
Businesses claim a proposed national portable long service leave scheme would be a $10 billion-a-year burden. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry told a Senate inquiry it did not support expanding long service leave beyond current terms. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has told a Senate inquiry into a national portable long service leave system that it wants a national standard of 13 weeks’ leave after 10 years, which would also be available to casual and seasonal employees.
Patrick has said that enterprise bargaining talks in train since March had stalled over “unrealistic” MUA claims.The union’s demands for a minimum 32-hour week, paid at a 35-hour week rate, and reinstatement of weekend penalty rates were “out of touch with community standards of what is considered acceptable in an Australian workplace. The union has applied to the Fair Work Commission for protected industrial action for 24 hours on Monday 18/1/2016 and four hours on Tuesday 19/1/2016.
Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers members took industrial action which saw bulk coal, general cargo and container shipping came to a standstill for 12 hours on Jan 12 in the ports of Newcastle, Sydney and Geelong, and strikes were planned for Brisbane and Melbourne on Jan 13. The dispute is in response to plans by tug employer Svitzer to bring the three crew on each of their tugs under one employment contract. Both the Maritime Union of Australia and the Australian Maritime Officers’ Association (covering deckhands and skippers) agreed in principle, but AIMPE rejected the move. AIMPE has exempted cruise ships and defence vessels from the action. Svitzer has put in place a 1.5% floor on future pay increases and will maintain the same legal rights and obligations to all three classifications as they currently have in place under the separate enterprise agreements. The Fair Work Commission has allowed Svitzer’s ballot to go ahead, despite an attempt by the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers to stop the vote. The Fair Work Commission (FWC), on Friday ordered a suspension of all industrial action by port workers at sites operated by Patrick Stevedores in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and imposed a 35-day “cooling off” period.
As a result of the continued delays in the official commencement of the draft Building and Construction (Fair and Lawful Building Sites) Code 2014, businesses in the building and construction industry that are looking to make a new enterprise agreement face a significant dilemma in deciding how to approach the bargaining process.
The main public service union, the CPSU, and the smaller Australian Services Union have written to the Tax Office asking for bargaining meetings in early February. The ATO says the Christmas/New Year shutdown is making it difficult to schedule bargaining meetings. Employees rejected a pay offer worth 6 per cent over three years, with 3 per cent to be paid on commencement, in an 85 per cent to 15 per cent vote.200 of the ATO's top executives were given a 3 per cent pay rise with no loss of conditions or entitlements.
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