A fairer future for… workers bargaining collectively
IEUA-QNT members know the current bargaining system is broken.
They have experienced this first-hand as employers stall during bargaining and leave members waiting for fair pay rises and enhancements to key conditions.
Employers have unilaterally rejected fair claims, flat-out refused to bargain and even made cuts to existing hard-won conditions – all actions which are permissible and even encouraged by the current collective bargaining system.
No worker in our sector and indeed the country is immune from the impacts of this broken system, and we have seen evidence of this time and time again.
Kindergarten employers have threatened to tear up agreements and revert employees to minimum conditions or place them on individual contracts.
In 2016, Queensland Catholic school employers challenged the definition of a “staff meeting” in an attempt to supress protected industrial action.
We have seen independent school staff take every action available to them to progress negotiations and still be denied access to arbitration over a dispute with an immovable employer.
Strike action has flat-lined across the board in Australia and coincided with record low wage growth.
The percentage of employees covered by collective agreements has dropped under the current government. In 2013, 38% of public sector workers and 33% of private sector workers were covered by collective agreements; in 2017, these rates had fallen to 33% and 12% respectively.
The system is broken and it’s time for change.
Change The Rules on collective bargaining
The parties that have endorsed the Change The Rules agenda have committed to taking action to fix the broken bargaining system.
This would mean ending unfair bargaining restrictions and lengthy disputes.
Members’ right to take any industrial action is severely restricted by onerous ballot requirements and unworkable notice periods.
The Fair Work Commission (FWC) needs power to settle disputes when employer stonewalling causes seemingly endless delays.
Employees need the right to negotiate with real decision-makers and bargain across multiple employers where necessary.
We need to close loopholes that allow employers to arbitrarily cancel established agreements.
Vote to Change The Rules on bargaining, vote for a fairer future.