AIRC to hear Victoria low pay case

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AIRC to hear Victoria low pay case

Future applications may not be required, if Federal legislation is passed in support of the Victorian legislation or Victoria goes it alone.

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An application to increase the wages of Victoria’s Schedule 1A workers will be heard by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on July 25.

Victorian employers and unions are seeking the flow-on of the National Safety Net Wage increase handed down in May.

Workers earning less then the minimum wage will receive an increase of $17 per week, while workers earning more will receive an increase of $15.

In 1996, the Victorian Liberal Government referred most of Victoria’s industrial relation powers to the Federal Government.

As a result, some 350,000 low-paid Victorian workers not covered by federal awards lost access to certain entitlements, such as personal, carer's and bereavement leave and overtime payments.

These workers found themselves classified under Schedule 1A of the Federal Workplace Relations Act.

This relegated them to five minimum conditions of employment, while workers on federal awards and agreements were entitled to the 20 minimum conditions, as defined in s89A of the federal Workplace Relations Act.

Employer and union agreement

Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry Workplace Relations Director, David Gregory, told WorkplaceInfo employers, unions and the Government discussed the position, and agreed that an application to increase the wages of schedule 1A workers be made to the AIRC.

The application will be made under s501 of the Federal Workplace Relations Act.

Gregory said employers and unions agreed on the amount of the increase. ‘We didn’t want to get bogged down in pointless arguments.’

He indicated there had been some debate over the commencement date of the increase. But, depending on what happened in the AIRC, it looked like the start date would be August 1, he added.

As the Victorian Federal Awards Uniform System Bill passed through the Victorian Parliament in May, laws attempting to redress the schedule 1A discrepancy are now in train (see previous story).

Future applications may not be required, if Federal legislation is passed in support of the Victorian legislation or Victoria goes it alone.

 
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