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Government Tables Wage Freeze, Kills Off Bargaining for Future Increases, Removes the Independence of the Industrial Umpire, Can Change Any Part of Our IR System Anytime

THE Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 (here) was tabled yesterday morning – and it’s nasty.
It will mean the government can:
• Freeze agreed wage increases in all Awards and Agreements regulating employment by the Crown for 12 months from various dates
• Replace agreed wage increases with yet to be determined increases
• Amend the Industrial Relations Act 1984 so the Tasmanian Industrial Commission can only make orders in accordance with the government’s wage policy in effect at that time
• Make Regulations that can over-ride any part of the Industrial Relations Act 1984 in any manner
We knew it would be an outrageous attack but it’s even worse than expected, and we had no idea about the fourth point as it wasn’t even talked about before the Bill was tabled yesterday.
This Bill will break your contracts, leave any future wage increases solely in the hands of the employer and will mean the industrial rules we’re all meant to abide by can be changed by the government whenever it likes without anything having to go back to Parliament.
FOR EXAMPLE: Government sets its wage policy through Regulation at -7.5% then makes application to the Commission for an arbitration of wage rates in all public sector Awards and Agreements. Your CPSU argues hard as always to defend your wages but the amended Act means the Commission can only agree with the employer – the government – and so must reduce all wage rates by 7.5%.
If the underlying principles of this Bill were applied to criminal law it’d mean that if you were charged with a crime you didn’t commit the independent judiciary could only make a ruling that agrees with the prosecution, so although innocent you’d be found guilty – Even a child can see that would be a bad law.
The Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 is a bad law.
It’s a stalking horse for other state governments to undermine workers’ rights and slash wages.
Extra information and materials:

Second reading speech 22_of_2014-SRS
20140902 Crown Employees (Salaries) Act 2014 -Clause Notes

20140902 Crown Employees (Salaries) Act 2014 Fact Sheet

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