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Tasmanian Industrial Commission: an independent umpire

IN TASMANIA it’s fortunate we have a truly independent Industrial Commission.
In New South Wales that’s not the case, with the independence of their Industrial Commission undermined by a government willing to use its legislative power to override the ‘umpires decision’. While the NSW Industrial Commission remains free to hear cases and make determinations its decisions must remain within a wages policy set by the government without any independent input. It’s like one team in a footy match being able to cap the number of free kicks the umpire can award to the other team.
The NSW Government’s wages policy caps wage increases at 2.5%. Recently a major dispute erupted after the Industrial Commission awarded public sector workers a 2.5% salary increase only to find the government wanted to claw back even more arguing PS workers should pay for their own increase in superannuation and therefore only receive a 2.25% increase. While the Industrial Commission disagreed with its position the NSW government successfully argued its case in the Supreme Court and workers only got 2.27%.
Tasmania’s Industrial Commission has real independence as evidenced by the recent Ambulance Tasmania work value case. The Industrial Commission took submissions from workers and the employer and was able to make an independent determination that saw paramedics receive fair remuneration for the work they do.

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