Notice of bargaining process abolished: Gillard

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Notice of bargaining process abolished: Gillard

Abolishing the need for a formal notification of a workplace bargaining process won’t result in more industrial action, according to IR Minister Julia Gillard.

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Abolishing the need for a formal notification of a workplace bargaining process won’t result in more industrial action, according to IR Minister Julia Gillard.
 
Speaking after the tabling in Parliament of the Government’s Fair Work Bill, Gillard said the change was merely a matter of getting rid of red tape.
 
When asked how it would be known the bargaining process had started, Gillard said it would be when one party puts it to the other that they should enter an agreement.
 
‘Overwhelmingly in this country, where enterprises collectively bargain, they do it voluntarily; they do it by agreement; they’ve done it for many a long year,’ Gillard said.
 
They just get on and do it’
 
‘There’s no protected industrial action involved. They just get on and do it.'
 
‘For those workplaces, we want to get red tape off their back. They can just get on and do it and then submit their agreement to Fair Work Australia.'
 
‘Fair Work Australia will check it, and one of the most important things it will check it for is to make sure that every worker, subject to the agreement, is better off overall as compared with the award.’
 
Still need a secret ballot
 
Gillard was asked by a journalist whether the new system would allow for ’a little more flexibility to stop work action'.
 
‘No, because if you’re going to take protected industrial action, you need to have a secret ballot to authorise it,’ she said.
 
‘I want to be clear about this. Under our system, you’re happily out there bargaining, bargaining away.'
 
‘If you get to a stage where you are going to take protected industrial action or you feel you should, then that will need to be tested through a ballot. Fair Work Australia is involved in that process.'
 
Genuinely seeking an agreement
 
‘So there’s no way that protected industrial action can start without Fair Work Australia being there, making sure that the ballot processes are right and supervised, making sure that before the ballot process has started, people were genuinely trying to seek agreement.'
 
‘So, whilst we’ve got the red tape off the consensual section, where everybody’s working well, there will be clear definitions of periods in which protected industrial action can be taken.’
 
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