Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke MP will end the unfair termination of Enterprise Agreements – delivering a victory for common sense, and taking an important step towards a more civilised and productive enterprise bargaining system.
Minister Burke has written to the Fair Work Commission today, advising the Commission of impending legislative changes which will limit the ability of employers to terminate enterprise agreements, and prevent them from using terminations as a bargaining tactic.
“For too long, Australians have had their existing pay and conditions threatened simply because they wish to bargain for a new enterprise agreement," said RTBU National Secretary Mark Diamond.
“Employers have treated the enterprise bargaining process as a blood sport, and as a result Australian workers have suffered through a decade of stagnation wages while.
“In 2013 RTBU members working for the rail company Aurizon were the first to face a termination of their existing agreement, leaving thousands of workers with lower pay and conditions. Ever since the RTBU has been advocating for the law to change to prevent employers from engaging in this disgraceful conduct.
“No Australian, when asking for a pay rise should be threatened by their employer or have their existing pay and conditions slashed. That sort of behaviour is more akin to a tinpot dictatorship and is definitely not what you would expect in a functioning democracy.”
NSW Premier must go back to the bargaining table
Mark Diamond said RTBU members at Sydney/NSW Trains have been threatened by the NSW Government with the termination of their enterprise agreement. This would leave 13,000 workers severely worse off.
“Cleaners, maintenance workers, train drivers and guards will have their pay slashed by up to 40% and conditions including safety protections stripped. This is an unbelievable move by a government that is seeking to be re-elected in March next year and is a declaration of war on workers in NSW.
"The RTBU hopes that this move by the Federal Government to end unfair terminations will force the Premier of NSW to see reason and withdraw his threat against his own workers and come back to the bargaining table.
“Premier Perrottet needs to stop playing politics with the lives of rail workers and the commuters of NSW. There is no place for political scheming in enterprise bargaining. Premier Perrottet’s actions are a reflection of a government in crisis that thinks it can gain a political advantage by attacking workers.
“Thank goodness the Federal Government has intervened to help restore reason and civility to our industrial relations system.”