NSW protects State-owned corporations workers from  WorkChoices

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NSW protects State-owned corporations workers from WorkChoices

The NSW Government has extended its protection of 180,000 government employees from the WorkChoices legislation to include about 30,000 employees of State-owned corporations.

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The NSW Government has extended its protection of 180,000 government employees from the WorkChoices legislation to include about 30,000 employees of State-owned corporations.

Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said the Government ‘will not use the WorkChoices laws to undermine their pay and conditions’.

He said amendments to the NSW Industrial Relations Act allowed unions and employees of State-owned corporations to enter into common law agreements without interference from WorkChoices.

‘All State-owned corporations will continue to collectively bargain with unions, obey the NSW IRC and provide entitlements like union fee deductions and training leave,’ Della Bosca said.

Fundamentally unfair

‘We won’t expose our public sector to John Howard’s industrial tyranny because it will disrupt essential services and because it is fundamentally unfair.’

There are 21 State-owned corporations, including Sydney Water, Energy Australia, Landcom and Sydney Ports.

Della Bosca confirmed at the State Labor Conference last weekend that the Government is looking at preferential treatment in tendering for government contracts for employers that met the Government’s labour standards.

The Federal Government told the States last year they would not receive money for Commonwealth-State construction projects unless the on-site IR rules complied with federal legislation.

The NSW Government is now considering making State IR systems compulsory on its State-funded projects.

Ban AWA companies

A union resolution at the conference urged the Government not to purchase goods or services from companies which use AWAs or engage in other practices that undermine workers’ wages or conditions. A similar resolution was passed relating to procurements by local councils.

However, Premier Morris Iemma and Della Bosca have expressed concern over whether an anti-AWA procurement policy would breach the Workplace Relations Act.

The State Government is also looking at banning AWAs for workers under 18.

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