$400m bill for training

Original article by Rob Harris, Anthony Galloway
Herald Sun – Page: 12 : 14-Dec-18

The federal government has criticised a push for union members to receive paid leave to attend training programs. The resolution will be put to Labor’s upcoming national conference, but the government has warned that it would cost the national economy about $1.3 billion a year and the Victorian economy $358.3 million a year if it applied to all members of a union. However, Labor has stressed that the policy would apply only to elected union delegates. Shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor argues that union delegates are already permitted to take training leave during working hours at the majority of unionised workplaces.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION

Enterprise deals face extinction

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 13-Dec-18

The proportion of workers in the private sector that are covered by enterprise agreement has fallen from 19 per cent in 2013 to 12 per cent in 2017, according the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. Its report shows that the number of private-sector employees who are covered by enterprise agreements has declined by more than 660,000 since 2013. It concludes that if the current trend continues, fewer than two per cent of private sector employees could be covered by enterprise agreements by 2030.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED

Coalition bid to end double dipping

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 11-Dec-18

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has welcomed the federal government’s response to a Federal Court ruling on the leave entitlements of casual employees. Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says it is unfair that companies could be required to pay both a casual loading and paid leave. She says the government will clarify the situation via regulation under the Fair Work Act. It also plans to introduce legislation aimed at providing casuals who are employed on a regular basis with the right to request that they become permanent employees.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Barnaby backs unions on casuals

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 5-Dec-18

A parliamentary committee has expressed concern about the growing use of casual labour in Australia’s mining industry. The committee has supported the union movement’s proposal to allow casual mining workers to become permanent employees after a certain period of employment. Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says the federal government will consider the committee’s recommendations. Australian Mines & Metals Association CEO Steve Knott argues that many employees prefer the increased flexibility and higher wages offered by casual work.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND RESOURCES, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Independent umpire pays the penalty

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 18 : 17-Nov-18

Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia CEO Peter Strong says changes to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates do not seem to have led to more jobs or more hours for existing workers. However, he claims that this is due to increases in the minimum wage that have essentially offset the impact of the cuts, rather than because businesses are retaining the savings that have resulted from the cuts. Meanwhile, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says Labor’s proposed bill to prevent the Fair Work Commission from reducing the take-home pay of any worker is "obviously unfair to employers".

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, UNITED VOICE

Greens seek to wedge Labor on IR

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 15-Nov-18

Labor has indicated that it would prioritise low-paid workers in any push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. However, the Greens argue that industry-wide enterprise bargaining should be available to all workers regardless of income or the sector in which they work. The Coalition and business leaders have expressed concern that the ACTU’s proposal for industry-wide enterprise bargaining would see industrial action escalate to the levels of the 1970s.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, HEALTH SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Union beats $51k fine for shorts call

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 14-Nov-18

The Federal Circuit Court’s decision to fine the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s for failing to comply with a dress code for workers on a building site has been overturned on appeal. The CFMMEU was fined $51,000 over strike action after a project manager ordered construction workers to wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts at the Newcastle site. Union organiser Pomare Auimatagi was fined $7,500. The Federal Court has ruled that the fines were "manifestly excessive".

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, JOHN HOLLAND PTY LTD

End to Godfreys deal paying $160 too little

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-Nov-18

The Fair Work Commission has terminated an enterprise agreement for employees of vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys that has been in place since 2009. The non-union agreement included wage rates that were $160 per week lower than the award minimum, while casual loadings were also well below the award rate. Godfreys argued that employees could be paid more than the award rate when commissions are taken into account. The enterprise agreement had expired in 2012.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, GODFREYS GROUP LIMITED, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Bonuses risk igniting ABC powder keg

Original article by Deborah Cornwall, Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 7-Nov-18

ABC journalists have raised the prospect of industrial action over severe staff shortages at a time when the public broadcaster’s executives are receiving large bonuses. Members of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s ABC house committee have sought meetings with acting chairman David Anderson to express the journalists’ concerns, but he has declined to do so. Liberal senator Eric Abetz is also seeking an explanation for the ABC’s decision to give one executive a bonus of more than $230,000 in 2017-18.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Westacott pleads for Hawke-era ACTU mindset

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 1-Nov-18

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has rejected the ACTU’s push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. She says it is unworkable and would disadvantage people in regional areas and unskilled workers. Westacott argues that the nation needs a modern industrial relations system that is based on enterprise or workplace-level bargaining, and underpinned by a universal safety net. However, she has invited the ACTU’s leadership to work with business to ensure that the IR system is appropriate for a modern work environment.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY