Workers can get a double-digit pay raise by convincing their boss to pass on pay rises at comparable workplaces, a minister says.
The Albanian government has legislation pending in parliament that includes sweeping changes to workplace legislation, including the reintroduction of ‘multi-employer negotiation’.
Labor wants to introduce a system where wage increases in one workplace are copied by a group of employers.
This would breathe new life into an industrial relations system of four decades ago that led to massive wage increases.
This caused a Labor government in 1993 to introduce a company negotiation system that prevented pay increases in one workplace from being copied automatically.
Employment and Labor Relations Minister Tony Burke this week praised Victorian childcare workers who scored large pay increases by lobbying various employers, leading to large pay increases that outpaced already high inflation.
“So if you look at the Victorian nurseries that negotiated multiple employers together and it was complex because the system wasn’t really set up for it, but they ended up with pay increases of 12 to 16 percent for those workers,” he told the ABC on Wednesday. program from 7.30 am.
Employer groups fear strikes will widen under Labor’s plans to revive an industrial relations system that existed until 1983.
Crossbench independent senator David Pocock, a former rugby player, is considering a Labor proposal to protect employers from the effect of new laws for six to 12 months from the time a single-employer contract expires.
But Senator Pocock wants more time to debate the bill.
Scroll down for video
Australians are more likely to receive double-digit pay increases if their colleagues convince their boss to pass on pay increases at comparable workplaces (pictured are childcare workers with the United Workers Union campaigning in Melbourne with Animal Justice Party member Andy Meddick)
“My concern is – and remains – the short time frame we have to consider and consult on the bill and the major changes it proposes,” he told the Daily Mail Australia on Friday.
“I accept that this is urgent, but we also need to do this right.
“The bill is huge and includes some very welcome measures, especially around gender equality and to get wages moving to tackle the crippling cost of living that Australians face.”
Mr Burke argued that existing labor relations made it difficult for multi-employer negotiations, referring to those Victorian child carers.
“Well, there’s another example in Victoria where a lot of nurseries, about 70, wanted to negotiate with each other,” he told 07:30 in August.
“They all had about 20 to 30 employees, mostly women, and in order to do that, they had to go through the red tape at the end of the individual registration of each agreement.”
The federal Labor government introduced a bill in parliament last month that would make it easier for workplaces to enter into multi-employer negotiations.
Employer groups fear 1970s-style strikes will become more common if the Fair Work Legislative Change (Safe Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 becomes law.
Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott told a Senate hearing on Friday that Labor’s proposed laws would pose a threat to small businesses.
“We still believe that these changes will not deliver higher wages, and in fact could lead to a range of unintended consequences for workers and businesses, especially small businesses,” she said.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus has criticized the corporate bargaining system that was introduced in 1993 when Paul Keating was Labor Prime Minister, because it stopped pay increases in one workplace and automatically flowed to others.
Shortly after coming to power in 1983, Bob Hawke’s Labor government had signed a series of agreements with unions to contain double-digit wages.
Minister for Employment and Labor Relations Tony Burke has praised the case of Victorian nannies who have scored large pay increases by participating in multi-employer negotiations, leading to large pay increases that outpace high inflation
This replaced the old system of sector-wide negotiations that had caused a wage-price spiral.
By the early 1980s, widespread strikes had led to a 14 percent rise in wages, while inflation rose by 11 percent.
The Amalgamated Metal Workers Union had landed a $39 a week wage increase through strikes, which trickled down to the rest of the economy at a time when the average full-time male worker was earning less than $300 a week.
But in 2022, Australian workers will still face weak wage growth, with wages rising just 2.6 percent in the year to June, while inflation is up 6.1 percent.
Price pressures have since worsened, with headline inflation rising 7.3 percent in the period to September — the strongest increase since 1990.
Treasury expects wage growth to reach an 11-year high of 3.75 percent in 2023, but this level of wage increases was not expected to surpass inflation until 2024.
Crossbench independent Senator David Pocock considers a Labor proposal to exempt employers from the effect of new laws for six to 12 months, but wants more time to debate the bill