ELICOS employer ordered to cease employee lockout
Langports English College has been ordered by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to cease unprotected industrial action against employees, after staff were threatened by their employer with a full day lockout simply for wearing a badge in support of their industrial claims.
IEUA-QNT members at the Brisbane College were the first ELICOS employees in Queensland to authorise protected industrial action after a recent ballot was endorsed by 100% of those who voted.
Members were driven to protected action – including badge wearing and stop work action – after the employer refused to agree to above-Award wages, denied formal paid marking and preparation time for casuals and would not agree to a mechanism to allow long-term casual employees to convert to permanent employment.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the granting of the stop order by the FWC evidenced our union’s diligence in protecting the interests of members.
“However, the employer’s actions leading up to the granting of the stop order have demonstrated the types of unreasonable tactics available to employers under Australia’s current broken industrial laws,” Mr Burke said.
“The decision by IEUA-QNT members to take industrial action was preceded by a lengthy period of bargaining where the legitimate claims of employees had been continually rejected by the employer.”
The employer made an application to the FWC for bargaining orders but it was withdrawn by the employer before being heard in the Commission.
Mr Burke said if Langports had continued with the application there was every likelihood it would have been unsuccessful.
Bargaining to recommence
A further Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meeting is being held today, Friday 3 May; members have passed a resolution calling on the employer to make a reasonable offer to employees.
“Langports has the opportunity to demonstrate that it cares about its employees.
“IEUA-QNT members have been seeking improved conditions for a number of years and it’s time for Langports to respond constructively.
“The resolution of the current bargaining dispute rests with Langports. The employer should apply its resources toward the conditions of employment for their employees rather than toward unreasonable (and so far unsuccessful) technical reactions.”
My Burke said members at Langports are to be commended for their resolution to continue to seek improved conditions of employment in the face of such disproportionate response tactics from their employer and the shameful use of Australia’s current broken industrial laws.