Fed Govt still hoping for IR referrals from the states

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Fed Govt still hoping for IR referrals from the states

The Federal Government is still expecting to convince the State and Territory Governments to refer at least some of their IR powers to the Commonwealth, according to a Ministerial communiqué.

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The Federal Government is still expecting to convince the State and Territory Governments to refer at least some of their IR powers to the Commonwealth, according to a Ministerial communiqué.
 
The communiqué from the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council (WRMC), which met in Adelaide last Friday, said discussions on the referrals would continue with a view to finalising them at the June meeting.
 
The discussions would be on the basis of the referrals operating from 1 January 2010, when the last parts of the Fair Work Australia (FWA) system come into being — the NES and modern awards.
 
Referrals to commence on 1 July
 
The communiqué says that Victoria has agreed to make a new referral of IR matters to the Commonwealth to commence on 1 July 2009, when a considerable portion of FWA begins.
 
Victoria first referred its IR powers to the Commonwealth in the 1990s, but it is believed that referral does not ‘match’ FWA.
 
Since the Government’s corporations powers allow it to cover about 85% of workers, almost all in the private sector, any referral from the States and Territories would mean little unless they related to public sector employees.
 
Relieved to get rid of wage claims
 
Many State and Territory Governments would be relieved to get rid of dealing in wage claims from teachers, police and nurses — all of which have the potential to cause the greatest public aggravation.
 
However, this would see the states going to a federal tribunal to have matters resolved between themselves and state employees, meaning they would not be able to use laws they passed themselves.
 
However, any major referral would see them saved the expense of running state industrial relations commissions.
 
Last month saw New South Wales abolish industrial magistrates as part of the exercise in giving the NSWIRC ‘something to do’.
 
The communiqué should soon be available online.
 
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