Productivity Inquiry into Workplace Relations

  • 23 March 2015

The primary focus of CPSU's submission to the Federal Government's Inquiry into Workplace Relations being undertaken by the Productivity Commission is that bargaining against the Crown requires a unique arbitral solution to overcome stalemates for government employees.  The Public Service is a unique employer being legislator, regulator as well as employer.  Bargaining with the Crown requires a more formal structured process involving the Fair Work Commission (FWC) not just the current procedural one, but one where the Commission has an arbitral role in the traditional sense.  CPSU therefore supports the re-establishment of the principles of a s.170MX power for FWC to deal with PS bargaining disputes.  CPSU rejects the principle of limited tenure for FWC Commissioners as having the potential to undermine FWC's independence particularly when dealing with the Crown as an employer.  CPSU believes that States need to refer powers to the Commonwealth to put PS employees on a level playing field with rest of Australian workforce.  The productivity pre-conditions for bargaining as espoused by employers do not adequately take into account the longitudinal nature of our work and one size measurements do not fit all government service delivery circumstances.  CPSU argues that the Productivity Commission should recommend that Australia ratify ILO Convention 151 on PS bargaining.