Disclosing relevant information is diffrent to info that satisfies a union

The ASU sought bargaining orders against the ATO on the basis that it had failed to provide ‘relevant information’ requested by the union in relation to the ATO’s claim that it could only afford a 9% wage increase over three years.

Fair Work Australia dismissed the claim finding the ATO had provided significant relevant information in a timely manner to the union, and that while the ASU was not satisfied with the responses it received, that was not the test. The commission was not prepared to accept that only existing written information fell within the description of ‘relevant information’ but found that in this case, on the facts, there was no breach of the good faith bargaining requirements.

The commission noted that leave to be represented would usually be granted in relation to applications for bargaining orders, which involve serious legal questions going to jurisdiction and the proper exercise of discretion.