Ignore claims, look at outcomes to measure FWA success: Gillard

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Ignore claims, look at outcomes to measure FWA success: Gillard

IR Minister Julia Gillard says people should ignore the ‘argy-bargy’ of claim and counter claim in the new Fair Work system and, instead, focus on the outcomes of good faith bargaining for enterprise agreements.

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IR Minister Julia Gillard says people should ignore the ‘argy-bargy’ of claim and counter claim in the new Fair Work system and, instead, focus on the outcomes of good faith bargaining for enterprise agreements.
 
Speaking on the Channel 10 Meet the Press program, Gillard was asked whether there is a guarantee that there won't be ‘a swarm of unions now making ambit claims and clogging up the system?’.
 
‘Look, yes, there is a guarantee that this is an enterprise-bargaining system,’ she said.
 
‘What is the system about? It’s about giving workers a fair safety net that no-one can strip away, and one of the most hated elements of WorkChoices was that it was all about stripping the safety net away, often from workers most at risk at work, young workers, female workers, workers for whom English is a second language, and then, of course, this is about enterprise bargaining.'
 
You’ve got to bargain to make agreement
 
‘So you can make claims, and that will happen, but in order to make an agreement, you've got to sit around a bargaining table and make it.'
 
‘This is enterprise-based system, so we have to separate out argy-bargy about claims. Will people make claims? Yes, of course, they will. Industrial relations is always full of claim and counter-claim.'
 
‘But what people pay on is awards and agreements. Our industrial umpire is making the new modern awards for the 21st century.'
 
‘A reform long sought by employers as an efficiency measure — new, simple awards — and then agreements need to be worked through at an enterprise level — employers and employees sitting around a bargaining table and working out what's best for the business.'
 
See what the system delivers
 
‘So I wouldn't get distracted by claims. Let's look at what the system delivers. It will deliver a fair safety net and enterprise-based bargains that are about productivity.’
 
Gillard was also asked whether she thought her legislation to replace the ABCC with a new Inspectorate under FWA would get through the Senate, and whether there would be a ‘stoush’ about it at the ALP National Conference later this month.
 
‘We went to the last election with a clear commitment to replace the ABCC and we've been guided in developing its replacement by a report from an independent former judge, His Honour, Murray Wilcox.'
 
Respect ABCC mandate
 
‘So to the Libs and the Greens, I would be saying, first and foremost, respect the mandate we have from the Australian people.'
 
‘Secondly, I would be saying, respect the wise words of His Honour Murray Wilcox, who guided us in this process. That's the pitch we'll put in the Senate.'
 
‘Of course, we do get frustrated in the Senate by [Opposition Leader] Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal Party, who specialise in saying no to everything that the Government wants to do.'
 
‘Well, this is something we clearly have a mandate for, and Turnbull should consider that, and, of course, Turnbull and his Liberal Party don't come to Workplace Relations with any credibility, given they are the party of WorkChoices.'
 
Balance right
 
‘On National Conference, well, we will see what we will see at ALP National Conference.'
 
‘It's no secret that many in the union movement are very critical of the Government's stance on having a tough cop on the beat in building and construction. Many employer organisations are critical of it too. What that says to me is that we’ve got the balance right.’
 
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