The ETU has expressed deep concerns with changes to the state's IR legislation proposed in the Industrial Relations (Fair Work Act Harmonisation) and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.
The ETU joined with the Queensland Council of Unions and representatives from various other unions to present verbal and written submissions to the Finance and Administration Committeee.
The most significant concerns relate to;
- Lack of consultation with unions prior to the legislation being presented and the short timeframe given to unions and others to prepare submissions to the commitee. In contrast to no consultation with unions, the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry had "detailed discussions" with the LNP prior to the state election.
- The intent around the requirement for the QIRC to take into account the state and agency financial positions and the state's Fiscal Strategy during public sector wage determinations. This clearly politicises the QIRC.
- The increased powers given to the Attorney General to terminate industrial action and the potential for misuse of such powers.
These are just a sample of the concerns raised.
In the ETU verbal submission Industrial Officer Pat Rogers made the following statement,
If these amendments are passed there will be two classes of employees employed in Queensland – those employed under the state Industrial Relations Act – that is, state and local government public sector workers - with all of the constraints and limitations imposed on them in relation to their ability to negotiate decent wages outcomes - and those that are employed under the Fair Work Act with provisions that provide at least some support to employees in their efforts to achieve reasonable wages outcomes.
See full details of the ETU and QCU's written submissions here http://www.etu.org.au/content/etu-submissions-re-state-ir-changes and http://www.etu.org.au/content/qcu-submission-fa-committee
And the final committee report here ,