Senate to extend hearings on pattern bargaining

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Senate to extend hearings on pattern bargaining

The Senate Committee due to hear submissions on proposed anti-pattern bargaining legislation on May 26 is meeting into the night on the eve of the talks to discuss extending hearing dates.

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The Senate Committee due to hear submissions on proposed anti-pattern bargaining legislation on May 26 is meeting into the night on the eve of the talks to discuss extending hearing dates.

The Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Legislation Committee had originally only planned one day of hearing. Consequently, witnesses had been limited to the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Australian Council of Trade Unions, and a handful of others, mainly players involved in, and to be affected by, the Victorian metal unions Campaign 2000.

This campaign aims to achieve common bargaining outcomes across the industry.

But the ACTU had been lobbying the Committee to include other unions it said had valid points to put across, and the hearing list is now fluid, with the Committee considering expanding hearings until Monday. The ACTU also had concerns about the timing of the submissions, with the deadline coming only two weeks after Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith introduced the Workplace Relations Amendment Bill into Parliament on May 11. This contrasts with discussion around last year’s 'Second Wave' amendments proposed by Mr Reith, where parties had months to prepare submissions, and the Committee heard evidence around the country.

 
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