NSW Lib leader hit over plans to give IR to Feds

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NSW Lib leader hit over plans to give IR to Feds

NSW workers and their families stand to lose essential workplace protection and entitlements if a future NSW Liberal Government handed its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth, a Government Minister said today.

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NSW workers and their families stand to lose essential workplace protection and entitlements if a future NSW Liberal Government handed its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth, a Government Minister said today. 

NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden yesterday promised to hand over such powers if he won the next election. 

NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said the Opposition is ‘recklessly promising to hand over NSW powers, when the Commonwealth has not even drafted its legislation’.  

‘The Commonwealth is foreshadowing a system with a lower minimum wage, no powerful independent umpire and with far fewer protections for low and middle income earners.’

Compare Victoria

Della Bosca said the only State Government to hand over powers was the Kennett Government in Victoria.  

He said that in comparison with NSW, Victoria has:

  • More than double the working days lost through strikes

  • More lockouts

  • Higher legal costs, and

  • No safety net for those who most need it: low and middle income earners and families who need flexibility.

‘Larger employers in NSW currently choose which system they use - and with a margin of two to one, they choose the fair and efficient State system,’ Della Bosca said.

‘NSW families want an independent umpire to resolve disputes, to protect their annual holidays and regular weekends, and to determine a fair minimum wage. 

‘Brogden is buying the Commonwealth model sight unseen, and risking entitlements and protections that a couple of million NSW workers take for granted.’ 

Della Bosca asked why NSW would give a monopoly to ‘a system with this record’:

  • Working days lost are 65 to 70 per cent greater in the Federal system in Victoria compared to the NSW system.
  • Working days lost per 1,000 employees: NSW 3.9, Victoria 8.7
  • 91 per cent of lockouts now occur in the Federal system and working days lost to lockouts have increased from three per cent to 26 per cent over the last five years.
  • According to the latest available data for the September quarter 2004, Victoria accounted for 84 percent of Australia’s working days lost in disputes lasting five days or more.  In comparison, there were no working days lost in NSW in such long running disputes.
  • In the same period in the construction industry, NSW accounted for only 5 percent of the nation’s working days lost, compared with Victoria’s 36 percent. 

Related 

NSW Libs will give IR to Federal Government, says Brogden 

 

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