NTEU warns industrial awards in a “fictional realm”

The National Tertiary Education Union copped a clobbering over the summer with the Fair Work Commission ruling against it on all-university issues. The union lost a bid to cover medical research staff in the institute sector CMM February 14 ). And the commission knocked the comrades back on proposals to codify protections in the basic awardCMM February 22), which the NTEU  describes as, “FWC endorses long working hours and unpaid work.”

But the union’s Linda Gale and Ken McAlpine do not blame individual commissioners, holding the Fair Work Act itself accountable;

“It would be easy to rail against the particular members of the Fair Work Commission involved in this decision as being biased against fairness and common sense, or as knowing more about industrial law than industrial relations, or even to decry the impact that years of partisan appointments to the commission have had on the level of sympathy to, or understanding of, real working conditions. But the reality is that FWC members have been constrained by the terms of the Fair Work Act 2009, that relegate awards to a fictional realm in which employers are all benign and enterprise bargaining mends all ills.”


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