Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
What next - Accord Mark VIII



Download PDFDownload PDF

NEWS RELEASE J O H N H O W A R D . M .P . M E M B E R FO R B E N N E L O N G SH A D O W M IN IS T E R FOR IN D U S TR IA L

R E LA TIO N S . E M P L O Y M E N T & T R A IN IN G

IRET 47/91 '

WHAT NEXT - ACCORD MARK VIII?

By his comments yesterday the Minister for Industrial Relations, Senator Cook, has added a further layer of confusion to an already chaotic wages policy scene.

Last week Senator Cook promised us Accord Mark VII. Yesterday he was not so certain, so promised us Accord Mark VI and three-quarters. . .

Within 24 hours Bill Kelty has rejected any notion of an interim Accord. He wants delivery on Accord Mark VI first. Yet this can't legally happen without the support of the Industrial Relations Commission which has stubbornly refused to play ball.

Three weeks ago Senator Cook correctly acknowledged that aggregate wage outcomes were not necessary if productivity gains were exchanged for wage increases. Yesterday he was back to emphasising the importance of fixing an aggregate wage target.

Last week the minister insisted that the Government would pay its own employees the $12 per week provided for in Accord Mark VI. In reply a major public service union snubbed him and said it would settle for the 2.5 per cent rise approved by the Commission.

The truth is that Australia's wage-fixation system has been wallowing in confusion since last April. This is because the Hawke Government undermined the old centralised system by repudiating the Industrial Relations Commission without putting a

new system in its place.

As a consequence there has been unrelieved chaos. The comatose condition of the economy has prevented excessive wage claims arising. However, this should not be allowed to disguise the culpability of the Government.in blowing up the old system but putting nothing in its stead.

The Opposition has repeatedly said that the only alternative to the predictable but failed mediocrity of the centralised wage-fixation system is the adoption of the workplace bargaining policy of the Coalition.

No matter how much he pivots and turns, Senator Cook cannot escape his dilemma. By doing the bidding of the ACTU he has destroyed the authority of the Industrial Relatione Commission over the old centralised system. Yet he dare not embrace the industrial relatione way of the future - true workplace bargaining.

SYDNEY 12 August 1991

COM KiQNW EALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H