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News News Buswell Must Come Clean on Planned Industrial Relations Changes

UnionsWA today demanded that Treasurer Troy Buswell release the recommendations of his $635,000 review into Western Australia's industrial relations laws, so that 300,000 workers could have certainty before Christmas.

The State Government has been conducting a review of Western Australia's workplace laws this year, with Mr Buswell appointing a former Howard Government industrial relations advocate to recommend areas for legislative reform in areas including individual versus collective agreements, the award safety net, minimum wages, statutory minimum conditions of employment and unfair dismissal. It was revealed in State Parliament that Mr Buswell was in receipt of Mr Amendola's report and recommendations.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said WA workers had a right to know the plans Mr Buswell had for their workplaces and work conditions and  demanded the Treasurer release the report and recommendations immediately.

"While demanding State Government agencies cut their operating budgets, Mr Buswell has splurged $635,000 of taxpayers' money on a review to justify introducing WorkChoices style changes to WA workplaces," Ms McGurk said.

"We now know the Treasurer has the report and recommendations on his desk and is keeping WA workers in the dark about the changes he plans to the award safety net, minimum standards, unfair dismissal protection and other important provisions.

"There is absolutely no excuse for Mr Buswell to be sitting on a report that could negatively impact upon the wages and conditions of 300,000 WA workers, many of whom provide essential services, such as health, education, community safety and child protec ion.

"On behalf of Western Australian workers, we demand that Mr Buswell release the report and recommendations now and not wait until just before Christmas, when governments often release bad news they don't want the media to report on."

Also of interest is that the Government admitted in parliament that they made no submission to the Review.

"This is just astonishing," Simone McGurk said. "The State Government employs 120,000 people under the WA Industrial Relations Act, but they have no view on how it should be organised?

"Why did they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this if they have no opinion on what changes should be made?"

UnionsWA launched its No WorkChoices in WA campaign in September to build public awareness of the State Government's planned changes. The campaign includes a series of television commercials, to highlight the threat the review poses to more than 300,000 workers remaining in the State industrial relations system.

Ms McGurk said the No WorkChoices in WA campaign would be run until the State Government guaranteed that it would:

  • Not introduce WorkChoices style individual contracts in Western Australia;
  • Not erode minimum standards or the award safety net system in Western Australian workplaces;
  • Maintain the role of the WA Industrial Relations Commission as the independent umpire;
  • Maintain protections against unfair dismissal; and
  • Maintain and improve public services in WA.

More information about the campaign could be found at www.noworkchoicesinwa.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Simone McGurk, UnionsWA, 0407 199 890

 
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