NSW PS wages law may breach ILO conventions: Evans

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NSW PS wages law may breach ILO conventions: Evans

The new NSW wage cap laws for state public servants may breach ILO conventions, the Workplace Relations Minister Senator Chris Evans has told Parliament.

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The new NSW wage cap laws for state public servants may breach ILO conventions, the Workplace Relations Minister Senator Chris Evans has told Parliament.
 
Evans said this was likely because it denies employees the right to collectively bargain, the right to participate in discussions about their conditions of employment and the right to access an independent tribunal.
 
‘The fact that the New South Wales Bill provides that wages can be determined unilaterally by government and imposed on workers would seem to be a clear breach of those conventions,’ Evans said.

Fails the test
 
‘Labor understands that both good-faith bargaining and access to an independent umpire are fundamental components of a fair and balanced system of workplace laws, features that have long been at the heart of Australian industrial relations systems. The NSW legislation fails this test.’

‘For thousands of NSW workers there will be no sitting down at the bargaining table.’

‘There will be no opportunity to argue their case on its merits before an independent umpire.’

Second-class citizens
 
‘They will be second-class citizens denied basic industrial rights as a result of the New South Wales legislation

‘The legislation being introduced by the NSW Government seeks to undermine the checks and balances this Government put in place and to deny public-sector workers the rights enjoyed by all other Australian workers.’

‘Their Bill seeks to treat those government workers in NSW as second-class citizens.’

The ACTU has announced it is looking at a High Court challenge to the legislation.
 
See also:

Australia to ratify more ILO conventions
 
Meanwhile, Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations in a speech at the International Labour Conference, Geneva on 13 June 2011 stated that Australia will ratify four ILO Conventions this year.
 
Among these is the Part-Time Work Convention, which sets minimum standards of treatment for part-time workers. The Senator continued:
‘This is particularly satisfying from my perspective as assisting people to balance their work and home responsibilities has long been a particular passion of mine and it was when I last attended the ILC in 1994 that this convention was actually adopted by the Conference.
 
I am also pleased to confirm that Australia will ratify the Maritime Labour Convention this year. As one of the most comprehensive instruments ever adopted by the ILO, ratification of the MLC will be a particularly momentous achievement for Australia.
 
We are also close to ratification of the Asbestos Convention of 1986 and the Optional Protocol of 2002 to the Occupational Health and Safety Convention. The progress made towards ratification of these four Conventions is a significant achievement for our country and will further enshrine decent, safe and fair conditions for workers while also improving Australia’s productive capacity.’
 
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