Same enterprise agreement approved, and rejected, by FWA

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Same enterprise agreement approved, and rejected, by FWA

An enterprise agreement has been approved by one FWA Commissioner but rejected by another, after it was accidentally lodged twice.

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An enterprise agreement has been approved by one FWA Commissioner but rejected by another, after it was accidentally lodged twice.
 
The agreement, for Riverina Division of General Practice (RDGP), was lodged by email and mail, and was inadvertently given two lodgement numbers and then referred to two commissioners.
 
One, Cmr Colin Thatcher, approved the agreement ‘on the papers’ without requiring evidence or appearances from the parties concerned.
 
The other Commissioner, Donna McKenna, required three hearings and then refused to approve the agreement without further undertakings from the company.
 
Declined undertakings
 
Since Cmr Thatcher’s ruling (handed down four days after Cmr McKenna’s third hearing) had approved the agreement, RDGP declined to make any undertakings required by Cmr McKenna.
 
However, RDGP did provide some assurance to the NSW Nurses Association relating to the agreement.
 
FWA has since changed its lodging system so that the same problem cannot occur again.
 
Bungle
 
Opposition IR spokesman Eric Abetz said the bungle ‘makes a mockery of Labor’s laws which were sold to Australian workplaces as being simpler, less bureaucratic and without legal complexity’.
 
‘The enterprise agreement, covering 90 employees, was eventually approved, but only after workplace representatives had endured the bungled bureaucratic nightmare,’ Abetz said.
 
Bureaucratic mess
 
‘This farcical, but devastatingly serious situation, where two FWA Commissioners spent days tied up with identical matters, highlights the confusing bureaucratic mess Labor has created with its new industrial laws,’ said Senator Abetz.
 
‘Julia Gillard created this mess and despite the flood of complaints from workers and employers alike, the Deputy Prime Minister has still done nothing to fix the problems.’
 
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