Why monitoring modern awards makes sense

Some employers who have their own enterprise agreement (EA) make the mistake of pretty much ignoring what is going on in modern awards. They reason modern awards provide bare minimum standards whereas their EA provides superior conditions, often considerably so. This tends to encourage ambivalence about what’s going on in the modern award space.

Enterprise Agreements: Specific Explanations Needed

Once again the FWC has baulked at approving agreements where it was not convinced the employers had taken all reasonable steps to explain the proposed deals to the employees.

You Can’t Pick the Opposing Team

When an employee is a member of a union that is a bargaining representative for an enterprise agreement, then that employee is able to attend negotiations under the union’s umbrella. And an employer’s attempt to exclude such an employee from discussions has been thwarted by the Fair Work Commission. The employee had filed for workers’ […]

No Cap on Bargaining Reps

While it may make good sense to keep bargaining committees down to a manageable size, arbitrarily limiting the number of bargaining representatives is not the way to go. This, along with a few other procedural flaws, resulted in an agreement being knocked back by the FWC recently, when it became clear the mistakes were too […]

No Point in Nitpicking

Arguing about the meaning of a word in a Protected Action Ballot Order (PABO) as a means to head off protected industrial action has proved to be something of a folly for Australia’s largest telco. The Fair Work Commission has dismissed the attempt, saying that the wording of a PABO is not to be interpreted […]

Non-permissible Claim Halts Protected Action Ballot

When a major union continued to pursue demands about restrictions on the use of contractors, it effectively ceased to bargain in good faith, the Fair Work Commission has found. This meant the FWC could not grant the union members a protected action ballot. The controversial claim being pursued was centred on imposing restrictions on the […]

Show Us the Books

The Fair Work Commission has ordered an employer to produce books of account showing its financial status, in a long running bargaining dispute with several unions. Despite its protestations about the extent of the financial records and other material it has to produce, a full bench of the FWC has required the company to hand […]

Time for Talking Over

When an employer put its best and final offer to a vote without union support, it was not in breach of good faith bargaining requirements according to a senior Fair Work Commission member. Negotiations for a replacement agreement had commenced nearly a year earlier, with 13 bargaining meetings and 14 drafts of the agreement. The […]