Pay falls as non-union agreements rise

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 8-Nov-19

Wage increases in new private sector agreements fell from 2.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the June quarter, according to data from the Attorney-General’s Department, while public sector agreement pay rises grew from 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent. The number of non-union agreements increased by 60 per cent between the March and June quarters, and Centre for Future Work economist Alison Pennington says it is possible that non-union agreements could rise as a proportion of all approved agreements from 22 per cent to 27 per cent by the end of 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

Union role expected in new IR laws

Original article by Phillip Coorey, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 23-Oct-19

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has confirmed that lifetime workplace agreements for greenfield projects will be part of the federal government’s proposed overhaul of workplace laws. Labor is likely to support the move, given that Porter is expected to endorse lifetime agreements that are negotiated between unions and employers. However, unions have reservations about the proposal.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

AFLW at war

Original article by Michael Warner
Herald Sun – Page: 62 & 61 : 3-Oct-19

The AFL Players’ Association says the majority of AFLW footballers support a proposed three-year collective bargaining agreement, and a vote on the deal will be held shortly. However, a group of AFLW players who are dissatisfied with the proposed pay deal has engaged the services of law firm Maurice Blackburn to represent them. Amongst other things, the dissident group contends that AFLW players will receive a pay rise of seven per cent in 2020 when based on hourly rates, rather than 21 per cent as the AFLPA has claimed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

Bosses seek Fair Work’s EBA data to allay anxiety

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 9-Sep-19

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called on the Fair Work Commission to release comprehensive data about its approval of enterprise agreements. Employer groups have previously expressed concern about the time it takes to get agreements approved, with ACCI CEO James Pearson saying it hopes discussion on the issue of approval times could lead to changes that would see agreement approvals become quicker, simpler and more predictable. He says that this could help to reverse the ongoing decline in enterprise agreement coverage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Closure threat over union agreement OK: Fair Work

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Aug-19

The Electrical Trades Union has indicated that it may launch coercion proceedings in the Federal Court regarding an enterprise agreement at New South Wales-based DDP Electrical Services, which excluded the ETU. The Fair Work Commission approved the agreement despite a letter from DDP to its staff which claimed that it would be out of business within six months if the ETU was successful in negotiating a new agreement. The FWC found that the warning was not a breach of ‘good faith bargaining’, as workers were still given a choice between a union and non-union agreement.

CORPORATES
DDP ELECTRICAL SERVICES, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Dramatic fall in enterprise agreement delays

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 21-Aug-19

Data from the Fair Work Commission shows that it took an average of 35 days to approve enterprise bargaining agreements in the last six months, and an average of just 30 days in the 2018-19 financial year. The FWC has previously attracted criticism from the Australian Mines & Metals Association, which claimed that the average time it takes to approve an EBA had blown out to 76 days. AMMA CEO Steve Knott says delays in approving EBAs are being exacerbated by the way the FWC applies the ‘better-off-overall test’.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

CFMEU seeks to lock in pay rises forever

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 16-Aug-19

New South Wales employers say the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union draft pattern agreement for that state is the most restrictive they have seen. The agreement essentially calls for pay increases of five per cent a year for as long as the agreement is not terminated or replaced, while it also calls for a ban on large concrete pours after 11am. It also calls for increases to various allowances and casual loadings, for a rostered day off every second week, and for employer contributions to various union-linked entities. The Australian Building and Construction Commission states the draft agreement breaches the federal government’s building code.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION

Stop arguing: Industrial Relations tsar’s call to bosses, unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 16-Aug-19

Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross says he agrees with Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott that improving living standards relies on boosting productivity. However, he has queried her claim that the Fair Work Act’s ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT) is a "productivity killer", with the BCA recently saying it wants it replaced with a different test . Ross says doing away with the BOOT could lift profits and reduce wages, but may not necessarily lift productivity. He noted the BCA proposal had received a "predictable response" from Labor and the ACTU that it was Work Choices Mark II.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Bargaining at risk: ex-Fair Work deputy

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 15-Aug-19

Former Fair Work Commission senior deputy president Peter Richard has echoed calls from business that there needs to be a simpler test used to approve enterprise bargaining agreements. The Business Council of Australia stated recently that the existing better-off overall test (BOOT) was a "productivity killer", and Richards says the primary cause of the failing enterprise bargaining system is the BOOT. He says that collective agreements have ironically become "bundles of individual contracts".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

New wage deals push 3pc pay rises

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Aug-19

Data from the Attorney-General’s Department shows that public sector enterprise agreements that were approved in the March quarter included wage increases of 2.4 per cent, while wages growth under private sector agreements was 2.7 per cent. However, the data excludes 29 per cent of new agreements because they featured ‘non-quantifiable’ wage increases. They included enterprise agreements for Woolworths and David Jones employees, which link pay rises to increases in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, DAVID JONES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BUPA AGED CARE, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK