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Award restructuring process "off the rails"



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PETER R E I l l F i l P ..

FEDERAL LIBERAL MEMBER FOR FLINDERS -. SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

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AWARD RESTRUCTURING PROCESS "OFF THE RAILS"

The report in today's Daily Telegraph about the wage tax trade off gives cause for concern that the award restructuring process is in serious danger of being derailed.

According to the article, employers in four key sectors could be facing substantial pay rises by early next year - on top of the 3 per cent and the $10 flowing from the August National Wage decision.

The report states that the ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty is aiming at pay rises of up to $40 a week, on top of tax cuts of $25 a week.

This would be completely outside the national wage decision which makes it clear that any restructuring of awards should be done "primarily by consultation and at minimal cost", (page 6, print H4000)

Indeed the ACTU's plan appears to pre-empt the hearing of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission scheduled for next February to generally review progress with award restructuring.

The report refers to employers making an "upfront payment" next year in return for employees starting training to upgrade specific skills.

This ignores the fact that employers have already been required to make two "upfront" payments for award restructuring - the 3 per cent and $10.

The growing impression is that award restructuring is less about improving the flexibility and productivity of the workforce, and more about winning pay rises for selected ACTU members.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Peter Morris, the Minister for Industrial Relations, has allowed the ACTU to hijack the agenda on award restructuring and to head it down a road that is opposite to the Government's own position and that is spelt

out in the National Wage Case principles.

Last week the ACTU directed its membership to exclude working time arrangements from discussions on award restructuring.

The Minister's inability to keep the ACTU in check must raise serious doubts about the Minister's relevance to relations scene.

Canberra

15 November 1988

For further information contact Jonathan Hamberger (062) 773185

the industrial COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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