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Individual agreements do have a place in workplace law.

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Senator Andrew Murray Senator for Western Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Workplace Relations

Press Release Dated: 19 Apr 2000

Press Release Number: 00/220am Portfolio: Workplace Relations 

Individual agreements do have a place in Workplace Law The Labor Party’s decision to agree to a union ban on individual workplace agreements is disappointing.

Australian Democrats Workplace Relations spokesperson, Senator Andrew Murray, said Labor’s new policy of taking Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA’s) out of Workplace Relations Law, but allowing them to continue as common law agreements, will throw individual workers to the wolves.

Senator Murray explained that Australian Workplace Relations Law currently has three main streams of agreements.

· Sector or industry wide awards or collective agreements

· Workplace specific collective enterprise agreements

· Individual workplace agreements

“It is important to note that there are many millions of Australian workers under collective agreements but there are only around 100,000 workplace agreements,” Senator Murray said. “AWA’s are particularly useful in the private sector where four out of five workers are not in unions.

“Labor and the unions aggression towards those individual agreements is unhelpful and unnecessary.

“Workplace Relations Law allows the development of pro-forma and standardised individual agreements which protect workers entitlements and conditions against a determined set of standards and a global no-disadvantage test which uses the appropriate award as its base.

“Common law agreements in contrast have none of these


Senator Murray said AWA provisions are not perfect, but instead of being scrapped, Labor should develop a policy of reform and not just appear to be puppets dancing to the union song.

“In turn, unions should, in my view, have a policy of projecting themselves as bargaining agents for individuals who want them to do so, on a fee-for-service basis.”


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 14:37:46 Today: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 07:06:42