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Cook offers choice on wages, conditions and access to arbitration



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MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS SENATOR PETER COOK

COOK OFFERS CHOICE ON WAGES, CONDITIONS AND ACCESS TO ARBITRATION

Today I have introduced an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act to make it easier for workers who do not have the protection of a State award, to move to Federal awards.

The amendments simply extend existing provisions in the act that allow State workers to move to Federal awards.

It means that workers that do not have access to State awards and an independent umpire will find it much easier to move to the Federal system.

The changes have been made necessary because the Victorian Government plans to deny thousands of Victorian workers access to the protection of fair minimum wages and award conditions, and an independent umpire.

Under the Kennett Victorian legislation workers will need the permission of their employers before they have access to the State Employee Relations Commission to hear a dispute.

The Federal Government is not imposing anything on Victorians, or workers in any other State.

Its amendments merely offer Victorians a choice - a fair award system, or Kennett/Hewson style individual employment contracts.

Workers and employers are free to stay under the Victorian system if they so choose.

States that have a fair system of compulsory arbitration are not affected by the changes.

The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that all Australians have access to fair wages and working conditions.

This is what our reforms are designed to achieve.

The amendments are expected to be passed by both houses of Parliament and be law by Christmas.

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December 10 Contact: Don Mackay 06 277 7320

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