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Need for calm, reason and negotiation

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24 May 1998

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NEED FOR CALM, REASON AND NEGOTIATION Statement by Alan Grinsell-Jones, National Director, Industrial Relations Master Builders Australia Inc.

Australia’s peak building and construction industry association has called on the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to end its industrial campaign and resume meaningful talks onjtw artf'‘restructuring.

Master Builders Australia has warned that if the CFMEU does not play its part in negotiating the necessary award changes, they will simply be imposed on the industry without consultation.

“Despite what the union may claim, building and industry employers have no desire to cut pay, conditions or penalty rates,” the National Industrial Relations Director o f the MBA, Alan Grinsell-Jones said.

“What we want to do is sit down with the CFMEU and comply with the law which requires that awards be simplified,” he said.

“If we don’t do that, we will be exposing our industry to the imposition o f those changes by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission,” M r Grinsell-Jones said.

MBA was disturbed and disappointed that the CFMEU and other building industry unions had sought to totally misrepresent the approach being adopted by MBA.

“We are not seeking to unreasonably alter award conditions but we do want to see the award brought up to date and made relevant,” Mr Grinsell-Jones said.

The award currently contained provisions which required work to stop at the first hint o f rain, even though w ork may continue in other extreme climatic conditions such as snow, provided that continuation is both reasonable and safe.

“MBA simply wants such provisions improved to ensure that rain is treated no differently to any other climatic condition,” he said.

On the issue o f penalty rates, Mr Grinsell-Jones said there was no proposal to impose cuts and that, instead, the MBA was seeking a more flexible approach.


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“As part of the MBA proposal, employees will be able to agree with their employer to working their ordinary hours on a Saturday as part of a normal 38 hour week. However, no employee will be required to work ordinary hours on any more than five days o f the week, and any ordinary hours worked on a Saturday will attract a 50 per cent additional penalty,” he


For example, an employee who agrees with their employer to work ordinary hours from Tuesday to Saturday and who works eight hours on that Saturday would receive the equivalent o f 42 hours’ pay for working 38 hours and still have two full days off,” Mr Grinsell-Jones said. .

He said the union’s real concern with award simplification appeared to be that it transferred the ability to be able to determine appropriate terms and conditions o f employment to the employers and employees themselves.

“The benefits which will flow to both employers and employees from the award simplification process are too important to allow the self-interest o f union officials to sabotage a successful outcome,” M r Grinsell-Jones said.

For further information contact:

Alan Grinsell-Jones

Business Hours: 02 6249 1433 Mobile: 0419 418 953