Commission refuses to make solicitors award

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Commission refuses to make solicitors award

The Industrial Relations Commission of NSW has rejected a union application for an industrial award to cover solicitors employed in private practice.

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The Industrial Relations Commission of NSW has rejected a union application for an industrial award to cover solicitors employed in private practice.

In refusing the application, Her Honour Justice Schmidt found that the Professional Officers Association did not have a sufficient number of members who would be covered by the proposed award.

Justice Schimdt said that a critical prerequisite for an award to be made was that the union must have a "real, not merely illusory, membership amongst such employees". In this case the POA was found to have less than 1% membership of those who would be covered by the proposed award and this was held to be an insufficient number to justify the making of an award.

Her Honour’s decision is significant in so far as it demonstrates that award making is a discretionary exercise and the Commission is under no obligation to make an award simply because an application has been made.

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